An Evaluation of Social Work Practice in the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency in Working with Children and Families from Black Minority Ethnic Communities

Patricia Nicholl, Patricia Devine, John Sheldon, Sarah Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research in the area of working with ethnic minorities in the care system remains limited. The primary objective of this study was to consider the volume of cases referred to the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency (NIGALA) from ethnic minority families in 2013/14 and to generate knowledge from the cases about cultural competency in the Agency. The research design included a mixed-methods approach. Data collection involved three tools: a file audit to review cases referred to NIGALA between April 2013 and March 2014; a survey questionnaire administered to all guardians; and semi-structured interviews conducted with a sample of guardians. The study highlighted the volume and range of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) groups with whom guardians worked in 2013/14, identified the difficulties experienced by guardians in building rapport with families when interviewing via an interpreter and highlighted the time spent researching cultural factors. Less than one half of guardians indicated that they felt competent in dealing with cases involving BME children. Guardians presented as committed to developing their cultural awareness. A series of recommendations for improving practice was considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-347
JournalChild Care in Practice
Volume22
Issue number4
Early online date30 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Guardian Ad Litem
  • Black Minority Ethnic
  • Cultural Competence
  • Interpreting Services
  • Delay

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An Evaluation of Social Work Practice in the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency in Working with Children and Families from Black Minority Ethnic Communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this