Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Felicia Washington Sy


Social Work


Little research has been conducted regarding how culture is used in assessing parenting capabilities in Indian Child Welfare (ICW). A case study was conducted within the Native American community of the Woodland People to explore this phenomenon. The data used in this qualitative research project consisted of interviews of the Indian Child Welfare workers and a content analysis of the active cases of the workers. Loss within the Woodland People, inconsistencies in practice, and the understanding of Indian Child Welfare were the three main themes that emerged from the data. The data within these themes clearly demonstrated that the Indian Child Welfare workers in the Woodland People’s community understood the culture and community in which they worked. Incorporating culture into his or her assessment of parental capabilities was as varied as each worker. The data pointed to opportunities to explore further research, practice changes, and educational systems change. The story presented by the ICW workers in this case study provided this author a greater understanding into the Woodland People’s community.

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