CULTURAL BROKER PROGRAM
WHAT IS THE CULTURAL BROKER PROGRAM?
Throughout the United States, children of color, and African American children, in particular are overrepresented in the client populations of child welfare agencies. This “disproportionality” is a phenomenon that the LA County Department of Children & Family Services is diligently seeking to address and eliminate.
The Cultural Broker Program uses volunteers from the community to provide direct support and advocacy to families at any and all points of the child welfare system, serving as the link or bridge between the culture of the family and culture of the public child welfare agency. Cultural Brokers work with the agency to decrease the likelihood of cultural misunderstandings and toraise and address concerns around Disroportionality, disparties and fairness and equity issues.
WHO CAN SERVE AS CULTURAL BROKER?
Cultural Brokers are community members, ideally of the same culture as birth families, who participate in meetings to help families understand the procedures and expectations of the child welfare system.
Cultural Brokers are individuals whose knowledge of DCFS and court systems will assist families as they navigate through the child welfare process. The support and empower families.
WHAT WILL THE CULTURAL BROKER DO?
- Serve as advocates.
- Emphasize the strengths of the family.
- Work to increase the quality of the relationship between DCFS and families it serves.
- Keep children safe from harm.
- Prevent families from entering system, whenever possible
- Lessen the likelihood that children will experience extended stays in the system.
- Help build strong support systems by encouraging families to participate in parent networks that focus on community organizing and self empowerment, and securing resources through linkages to public benefits, financial literacy programs and job training.
WHERE WILL CULTURAL BROKERS BE UTILIZED WITHIN THE DCFS OPERATION?
Cultural Brokers will be assigned to work in several regional offices throughout the county based on the needs of the offices and the preferences of the volunteers.