Cultural Permanence for Indigenous Children and Youth in Care: Advancing Knowledge and Current Practices for Promoting Resiliency and Belonging

Date

2014-04-29

Authors

Bennett, Kathleen

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with cultural connection and its role in creating cultural permanence when planning for Indigenous children and youth in care. Its goal is to mitigate the current path of disconnection and imbalance for Indigenous children and youth in care and to recommend an ecological, holistic approach to child welfare practice. It comprises a literature review that documents theories and practices to support belonging, cultural permanence, and cultural identity for Indigenous children while supporting meaningful connections with family, culture, and community. This information and analysis will be applied to the care of children and youth being served by Northwest Inter-Nation Family and Community Services Society (NIFCS) in British Columbia. The study’s findings will highlight guidance to assist social workers in centering cultural traditions that promote cultural strengths, resiliency, and a sense of belonging for Indigenous children and youth. This thesis will provide suggestions for interacting with the Indigenous community, parents, relatives, workers, and other delegated agencies. Finally, this thesis will explore how one social worker’s dream influences the direction of her practice to build on cultural strengths and spiritual resiliency.

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Keywords

Indigenous social work, cultural permanence, cultural resiliency, cultural belonging, child welfare, Indigenous youth in care, Indigenous children in care, Northwest Inter-Nation Family and Community Services Society, cultural identity, social work, British Columbia, child protection

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