Session: Centering Equity through a Breakthrough Series Collaborative: Reflections on Engaging Fathers and Paternal Relatives in Child Welfare (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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229 Centering Equity through a Breakthrough Series Collaborative: Reflections on Engaging Fathers and Paternal Relatives in Child Welfare

Saturday, January 14, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Hospitality 3 - Room 432, 4th Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Organizations & Management
Jennifer Bellamy, PhD, University of Denver
Jennifer Bellamy, PhD, University of Denver, Ed Davies, Children's Home & Aid and Matthew Stagner, PhD, Mathematica Policy Research
This roundtable will facilitate an introduction to, and discussion about, how the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) method can center equity using the Fathers and Continuous Learning (FCL) project as an example. A Breakthrough Series Collaborative BSC is a continuous learning method to test and spread innovation at multiple levels of organizations. The BSC methodology, first developed in healthcare and later applied in education and child welfare systems, has the potential to intervene on a systems level address a variety of challenging and multidimensional issues.

From August 2019 to March 2021, six teams of child welfare stakeholders from five jurisdictions participated in a BSC as part of the FCL project sponsored by the Office of Family Assistance and administered by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in partnership with the Children’s Bureau, all within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. The overall project is described in a pilot study report and is now entering an evaluation phase. The BSC teams included child welfare leaders, program administrators, frontline staff, fathers and paternal relatives with lived experience with the child welfare system, and system and community partners. Over the course of the BSC, teams identified racial justice as a key issue impacting jurisdictions’ engagement of fathers and paternal relatives in child welfare services. Although race equity was an element of the project from the beginning, the focus on race equity was amplified over the course of the BSC.

This topic is well suited to the roundtable discussion format because research on BSCs is promising, but the method is relatively new to social work, child welfare and father and paternal relative engagement work. The roundtable format provides the opportunity for a more exploratory discussion. The speakers, who have recently completed a BSC, will first share a brief overview of the FCL project and the BSC methodology. The speakers will then seed the roundtable discussion with their thoughts on how the BSC provided a structure within which teams worked to intentionally address the intersection of racial justice and father and paternal relative engagement in child welfare. Finally, the speakers will engage the audience in a generative discussion about: the potential for the model’s application in child welfare, and perhaps expansion into other child and family serving systems to address gender and race equity issues, as well as opportunities for future research on the BSC methodology.

See more of: Roundtables