Supporting the Power of Families to Strengthen Communities
To increase the overall well-being for at risk children and families by providing culturally congruent services that will enable them to successfully navigate various government agencies and programs as part of their efforts to address their needs.
In 2003 when Fresno County Department of Social Services (Fresno County DSS) adopted the Family to Family Initiative a community collaborative known as the 06 collaborative (zip code 93706) was established in the West Fresno community. Through this collaborative, Fresno County DSS sought to learn from community members about the experiences of families living in their neighborhoods. Members were particularly sensitive to the disproportionate representation of their neighborhood children in the county’s child welfare system. They perceived their neighborhood children were more likely to be placed in long-term foster care or the parents of these children were more likely to experience termination of parental rights. Fresno County DSS recognized the leadership of this group of concerned community members which included Margaret Jackson, and a host of others who would eventually evolve to form the Cultural Broker Family Advocate Program. This concerned group of residents, and others in the community, were invited by DSS to attend meetings arranged in their community to begin discussions with top administrators around these concerns.
To date Cultural Brokers Inc.’s Cultural Broker Family Program has successfully delivered family advocacy and liaison services to 3337 unduplicated families, for a total of 10,327 individuals (6487 children and 3840 adults) from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
In the past several years since becoming a corporation CBI has managed to meet all of the challenges of a new and growing organization including becoming a recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization.
The progress and achievements over the past four years have been noteworthy and include the following
Recognition by the California Evidenced-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare for CBI’s effective approach to working with children and families
Recognized in the National Child Welfare Resource for Organizational Improvement’s October 12 Guide for Developing and Implementing Child Welfare Practice Model as a culturally responsive and inclusive practice model.
Providing consultant services to child welfare agencies in California and in other states who want to replicate the CBI practice approach.
In 2014 secured a contract with Fresno County Department of Social Services to implement the Parent Partner Program.
Provide “Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma” Parent Workshop (pilot) & Parent Support Groups.
Contracted with Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services to provide training, consultation and technical assistance for the development and implementation of a Cultural Broker Program in Sacramento County.
Contracted with San Joaquin County Human Services Agency to provide training, consultation and technical assistance for the development of an Agency Community Partnership Focused on Improved Service Delivery to African American Children and Families; Support the development of a Disproportionality Work Group; An Agency Community Partnership, and the development of an implementation plan.
To date Cultural Brokers have completed over 2620 joint community response calls, serving more than 7095 individuals (adults and children).
Of the families receiving a joint response 91% of the families did not enter the child welfare system six months post joint response.
DSS found that Cultural Broker involvement in referral assessments resulted in more engagement with families and less cultural misinterpretation.
In 2010 there were 453 African American children removed from their homes and placed in care for eight or more days in addition to the children that were in care at the beginning of the year. In 2012 the number of African American children removed and placed in care at the beginning of the year dropped to 368.
The Cultural Broker Program has played a critical role in Fresno County DSS reform efforts including completion of an Institutional Analysis and Fresno County’s participation in the California Partners for Permanency federal grant and subsequent development and implementation of the California Practice Model.
63% of families who completed the program one year ago successfully reunified with their children
78% of families receiving CB services reported improved communication and trust with DSS
83% of families participating in the triage process reported that they understand the safety and risk factors that must be mitigated to reunify with their children
83% of families showed improved family functioning, stability, safety and self sufficiency as evidenced in their FDM Matrix assessments
Since 2014, 431 children achieved permanence and were successfully diverted from entering the child welfare system (legal guardianship with relatives via the probate court with 195 families)
97% reported being satisfied with the services received by the Cultural Broker Program