Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Building cultural awareness and responsiveness: Implicit bias training for contracted trainers at the Child Welfare Resource Center

Unger, Wendy A. (2021) Building cultural awareness and responsiveness: Implicit bias training for contracted trainers at the Child Welfare Resource Center. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (1MB) | Preview


Recognizing the disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system, the Child Welfare Resource Center (CWRC) embarked on systemic change to become an antiracist organization. This short-term dissertation inquiry paralleled the broader efforts and focused on building cultural awareness and responsiveness through an implicit bias intervention with CWRC trainers. Recognizing and addressing racial biases in child welfare was essential to rectify systemic policies and practices that harm Black and Brown children and families. As the mandated provider of certification training for public child welfare caseworkers and supervisors in Pennsylvania, the CWRC had the influence and responsibility to build an antiracist workforce and trainers were essential in this change effort.
The leading outcomes for the intervention were to identify the demographic characteristics of the trainers and to implement online educational modules to increase the implicit bias knowledge of the participants. A pre-post analytical model confirmed that the Implicit Racial Bias 101: Exploring Implicit Bias in Child Protection course from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and The Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute increased implicit bias knowledge. Furthermore, trainers indicated high satisfaction, and motivation to intervene as an active bystander, to avoid acting on harmful biases, and to use the information in trainings. Multiple trainers added that the course should be mandatory for all trainers and child welfare professionals.
Implicit association tests completed during the intervention identified the preference for white people rampant in a predominately white child welfare system and in society. As indicated in the literature, preferences or biases for white people lead to policies, practices, and decisions that support white supremacy and racism. Thus, identifying biases and taking actions to avoid acting on harmful ones, was a foundational step and additional individual, organizational, and systemic actions are critical. Future inquiry should study the transformation in trainings and in the interactions and decision that impact children and families. Many child welfare professionals are searching for resources and often look to CWRC as a trusted source. CWRC’s dedication to an antiracist child welfare system can positively impact Black and Brown children and families.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Unger, Wendy A.wau2@pitt.eduwau2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDelale O'Connor, Lorilori.delale-oconnor@pitt.edulori.delale-oconnor
Committee MemberEngland, Sharonsse8@pitt.edusse8
Committee MemberHuguley, Jameshuguley@pitt.eduhuguley
Committee MemberCampbell, Shanyce L.shanycecampbell@pitt.edushanycecampbell
Date: 7 July 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 April 2021
Approval Date: 7 July 2021
Submission Date: 14 June 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 172
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Implicit Bias, systemic racism, cultural humility, child welfare, trainers, training
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2021 12:58
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2021 12:58


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item