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Public Policy and Administration


Ernesto Escobedo


African Americans are overrepresented in the child welfare system in New York City (NYC). They face racial and ethnic bias, complex procedures, and policies that govern child welfare. The main research question for this study explored the experiences of African American single mothers with the child welfare system. This qualitative study was guided by policy feedback theory; data were gathered from 10 African American single mothers who have had experiences with child welfare investigation within the past 10 years. Participants were interviewed using semistructured questions designed to capture their experiences with the child welfare system. The data were coded for themes and patterns within the responses provided. The study’s key findings revealed that African American single mothers in the child welfare system faced significant concerns around implicit bias, the lack of trust for child welfare workers, and limited accessibility to resources. This study reflected the need for positive social changes and reforms in the child welfare system sensitive to African American single mothers’ cultural and social-economic needs. The data may provide researchers and policymakers with a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of child welfare on African Americans in NYC, which may ignite ideas for further research or policies that create social change among this group within the child welfare system.