The lived experiences of first-generation West African black parents whose children have been subject to statutory interventions

Ezendiokwele, Chibuzor Roselyn (2021) The lived experiences of first-generation West African black parents whose children have been subject to statutory interventions. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust/University of East London. Full text available

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The primary aim of this research project is to gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of a group of first-generation West African black parents whose children have been subject to children’s services. This research focuses on the experiences of parents, their personal stories of immigration to England and their journey to local authority children’s services intervention. This is because parents’ stories are not heard and talked about enough in relation to the concerns around statutory intervention. There are no literatures on the experiences of first-generation West African black parents who have been subject to statutory intervention. However, there are studies on the migration stories of black Africans and the overrepresentation of black children in the child protection systems. Nine parents participated in interviews using the Biographical Narrative Interview Method and preparatory focus group, while 21 social care professionals participated in two focus group sessions. The key questions include what the psychosocial accounts of the lives of immigrant parents are, and this is deployed to learn from parents about their experiences of statutory intervention and the responsiveness of children’s services to the needs of the children and their families. The research will learn about the difficulties of working with this community using carefully facilitated focus groups comprising social work and social care practitioners. Findings from the research include professionals’ unconscious/conscious bias towards parents formed from childhood experiences of discipline; the toxic mix of professional’s’ unresolved anger towards (own mothers) with punishment and racism to mothers of West African origin, complicated systems dynamics; biographical and cultural tensions in the experiences of parents and professionals; parents’ experiences of discrimination and racism; parents’ mistrust towards agencies; professionals’ inability to think about culture and the convergence of participants’ experiences; and professionals’ defensiveness. Implications for policy, practice, research and education include social work training to explore cultural knowledge of black parents’ parenting values; the need for social work students to have spaces to address their own histories of childhood abuse and experiences of being parented; reflective case ii discussions; sound knowledge of legislation and policies; and the recruitment of social workers who share similar cultural backgrounds to the parents described in this research.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of a Professional Doctorate in Social Work and Emotional Wellbeing awarded by the University of East London, in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Social Work and Emotional Wellbeing, D60, Immigration, West Africa, Physical Chastisement, Discipline, Lived Experiences, Childhood Experiences, Statutory Services, Psychoanalytic Theories, Racism, Discrimination
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Protection
Groups & Organisations > Racial/Cultural Groups
Social Welfare > Social Welfare Personnel
Social Welfare > Social Work
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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