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Black parents ask for a second look: Parenting under 'White' Child Protection rules in Canada

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Where children grow up has a major impact on what they become as adults. Towards achieving what is optimal for one's children, parents across cultures carry out different parenting practices. Despite this, Black parents in Canada feel their
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  Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Children and Youth Services Review  journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth Black parents ask for a second look: Parenting under  ‘ White ’  ChildProtection rules in Canada Paul Banahene Adjei ⁎ , Eric Minka  Social Work, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada A B S T R A C T Where children grow up has a major impact on what they become as adults. Towards achieving what is optimal for one's children, parents across cultures carry outdi ff  erent parenting practices. Despite this, Black parents in Canada feel their parenting practices are unfairly targeted by Child Welfare Agencies (CWA), resulting inthe overrepresentation of Black children in the welfare system. This study presents qualitative  fi ndings on Black parents' knowledge, perceptions, and experiences of navigating through complex Child protection rules and processes in Toronto, Canada. Results revealed that Black parenting experiences are shaped and in fl uenced bycultural knowledge and perceived anti-Black racism in Canada, yet Child Welfare Agencies hardly consider this information in their engagements with Black families.Further, most participants had negative perceptions of Child Welfare Agencies as people who disunite families and racially target Black families. The study rei fi es thatChild Welfare Agencies in Canada need to take necessary steps to understand the complex contexts of Black parenting in order to engage Black parents positively inthe child protection process, perhaps enabling more Black children to remain at home safely. Even where removal (protective custody) is the preferred plan, ChildWelfare agencies will develop strategies to make better use of the potentials that birth parents possess in order to enhance Black children's lives. 1. Introduction Over the years Child Welfare Agencies in Canada has created animpression that its policies, parenting guidelines, and practice modelsare impartial and apolitical. But Black parents in Toronto suggestotherwise that the colour of Canada's Child Protection rules is White.The way Black and Indigenous children are apprehended from theirfamilies and placed in cares constitutes a structural discrimination inChild Protection legislation. This practice continues because there is afalse assumptions among Child Welfare Agencies that Child Protectionlegislations are culturally and racially universal, yet hidden in thisrhetoric is a blatant White-favoured standard of parenting that putsBlack and Indigenous families at risk (Blackstock, 2009, 2011; Chistian, 2010; de Finney, Dean, Loiselle, & Saraceno, 2011; Pon, Gosine, & Phillips, 2011). In fact, it is not far-fetched to argue that Child Welfarepractices including recurring assessment procedures and follow-up in-vestigative methods are evidence seeking strategies that put Black andIndigenous children at risk (Blackstock, 2009, 2011; Chistian, 2010; Kline, 1992; Pon et al., 2011). This position is based on a considerable scholarly research that has examined current Western ideals of child-hood development often presented as universal standards for childrearing as well as evidence of overrepresentation of Black and In-digenous children in the Child Welfare System in Canada (Blackstock,2009, 2011; Clarke, 2002, 2011, 2012; Dettla ff   et al., 2011; Dumbrill,2010; Greenbaum, 2014; Hill, 2005; Osterling, D'Andrade, & Austin, 2008; Pon et al., 2011). Research carried out across Canada suggests that Black and Indigenous families are reported to Child WelfareAgencies at a higher rate than any other group despite the fact thatthere is no evidence to suggest that Black and Indigenous parents abuseor neglect their children at higher rates than other racial parents(Greenbaum, 2014; Peters, 2002; Rambally, 1995; Sinha & Kozlowski, 2013). For example, cases of alleged child abuse and neglect that in-volve Black and Indigenous families continue to be reported to andsubstantiated by public Child Welfare agencies at a rate twice that of White families (Drake et al., 2011; Fluke, Yuan, Hedderson, & Curtis, 2003). Further, Black and Indigenous children are known to reside infoster care for longer periods of time and are less likely to be reuni fi edwith their families following Child Welfare involvement (Blackstock,2009; Chistian, 2010; Hill, 2006; Muir & Bohr, 2014). In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Black Canadians make up only 8.2% of the provincial population yet represent a staggering 41% of all childrenand youth in care  –  fi ve times their representation in the general po-pulation (Contenta, Monsebraaten, & Rankin, 2014). According to TheChild Welfare Anti-Oppression Roundtable's (2009) report, it is esti-mated that Black children make up approximately 65% of the totalnumber of children and youth placed in group care living arrangementsin one Ontario City. The racial disproportionality rate of Black childrenin group care is such troubling that Margaret Parsons, the ExecutiveDirector of the African Canadian Legal Clinic, describes the current rateof apprehending Black children into care as  “ a modern-day residential https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.08.030Received 7 May 2018; Received in revised form 23 August 2018; Accepted 23 August 2018 ⁎ Corresponding author.  E-mail addresses:  pbanahene@mun.ca (P.B. Adjei), Em7270@mun.ca (E. Minka). Children and Youth Services Review 94 (2018) 511–524Available online 25 August 20180190-7409/ © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.    schools system 1 ”  (Contenta et al., 2014, p.5). One Vision One Voice, aprovincially funded anti-Black racism initiatives for Ontario's childprotection system, in its 2015's study of more than 800 Black familiesand youth, foster parents, child protection workers, and communitymembers, it notes that the Child Welfare System in its current form inOntario undermines and sometimes destroys African-Canadian families(Monsebraaten, 2018, para.14; One Vision One Voice, 2016). The re- port therefore among other things recommends the amendment of the Child and Family Services Act   to acknowledge  “ the historical signi fi canceof African Canadians in Canada's history and Canada's history of anti-black racism, establishing the need to ensure equitable outcomes forAfrican Canadians in the Child Welfare System ”  (One Vision One Voice,2016, p.91).This present essay reiterates what is already mentioned in OneVision One Voice's (2016) report that the Child Welfare Agencies' po-licies, practice guidelines, and assessment tools in Canada requires acritical second look. The data informing the discussion in the presentessay were taken from a study funded by Social Science and HumanitiesResearch Council Insight Development Grant (SSHRC-IDG), a triocouncil research funding agency in Canada, in which the research teamexplores Black parenting practices in Toronto, Winnipeg, and St. John'sand the importance of such knowledge in improving Child Welfarepractice in Canada. Author Two, as part of completing his Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, analyzed the Toronto's data for his MSWthesis. The present essay is based on Author Two's analysis. Whereasnot all Blacks and Whites may necessarily  fi t into the racial essentialism(Harris, 1990) in the present essay, we use socially constructed terms “ Blacks ”  and  “ African Canadian ”  interchangeably to mean individualsborn in Canada, the Caribbean, Guyana, and Africa living in Canadawho trace their ancestral a ffi nity to the continent of Africa. White isalso used in a socially constructed way to mean individuals who linktheir ethnic ancestry to Europe. The ensuing discussions focuses on theliterature review that underpins the study. 2. Literature review The 2006 Canada population census places Blacks as the third lar-gest visible minority group after Chinese and South Asians  —  815,000and projected to increase to 1,809,000 by 2031 (Statistics Canada,2012). Of this  fi gure, 57% (539,205) live in Ontario. Of the Blacks inOntario, 74% (399,011) live in the Toronto census Metropolitan area(Statistics Canada, 2011). This calls for the adoption of new approachesto how social services are delivered as many Black families have dif-ferent cultural and racial beliefs and traditions, which have been foundto in fl uence and shape their parenting practices (Kagitcibasi, 1996;Ogbu, 1994). Maiter and George (2003) have previously noted that despite the seemingly similar parenting practices across cultures, thereare still cultural and racial di ff  erences in parenting goals, values, andbehaviours that need to be considered when constructing the meaningof e ff  ective parenting in a society. Ignoring this reality will imply thatcertain parenting behaviours considered to be e ff  ective and functionalamong one racial group will easily be construed as an aberrant beha-viour by another group (Maiter & George, 2003). This therefore calls fora critical examination about how Child Welfare policies and procedureselucidate and enforce a worldview that sometimes place the culturalheritage and traditional parenting practices of Blacks and Indigenouspeople at risk.  2.1. Parenting style Diana Baumrind's (1971, 1991) describe four general styles of par-enting that are associated with observable outcomes in children andyouth from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds  –  ( 1) authoritative,(2) authoritarian, (3) permissive and (4) rejecting-neglecting  . According toBaumrind (1991), authoritative  parents  can establish a nurturing homeenvironment that fosters healthy childhood development. Authoritativeparents are good at setting a clear guideline for their children's beha-viour.  Authoritarian parents,  on the other hand, are believed to valuedomination of their children and often use punishment tactics to correctthe wrong doings of their children. Authoritarian always expect anddemand their children to obey their instructions and parental guidelineswithout questioning.  Permissive or nondirective parents  exhibit warmthtowards their children and use non-punitive approaches to childrearing. Permissive or nondirective parents prefer to give their childrenwith choices to encourage them to explore and grow in their deci-sion – making process.  Rejecting-neglecting parents  are neither demandingnor responsive as they abandon or deny their parental responsibilities.The consensus among experts is that authoritative parenting prac-tices produce positive emotional and behavioural adjustment amongchildren (Baumrind, 1989; Karavasilis, Doyle, & Markiewicz, 2003; Maccoby & Martin, 1983). Some researchers also suggest that an au-thoritative approach to parenting helps children to internalize beha-viours that exemplify positive outcomes (Gonzalez, Holbein, & Quilter,2002; Milevsky, Schlechter, Netter, & Keehn, 2007). While author- itative and permissive parenting styles are preferable child rearingstrategies among White European, American, Canadian families, Blackparents in North America see these parenting styles as a resignation of parental responsibilities and can result in Black children being harmed,killed, or imprisoned before entering adulthood (Adjei et al., 2018;Cooper, 2014; Hill & Bush, 2001; Rudy & Grusec, 2001). Yet the idealized Western mindset of child rearing, which favours permissiveand authoritative parenting styles, views Black harsher, authoritarianparenting styles as extremely controlling, inappropriate, dehumanizing,infantilizing, violent, and in some cases foster negative behaviouroutcomes among Black children (Gersho ff  , Lee, & Durrant, 2017;Kolhatkar & Berkowitz, 2014; Scales, 2000; Terry, 2004). In 2004, Durrant, Ensom and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children andYouth developed a joint statement on physical punishment of childrenand youth that has received overwhelming endorsement from severalorganizations, public institutions including social work schools, andOntario child protection agencies. The statement among other thingsdiscourages the use of physical punishment as a disciplinary measure toraise children. The term  “ physical punishment ”  is used loosely in the joint statement to include  “ spanking, ”  which importantly, the SupremeCourt of Canada in January 2004, in a split 6 – 3 decision, ruled does notviolate the constitutional rights of Canadian children (Small, 2004).The Supreme Court's decision does not however prevent a provincial ora territorial child welfare authority to investigate and to even re-commend apprehension of a child who has been spanked claiming thechild is at risk in her or his family (Durrant, Ensom, & Coalition onPhysical Punishment of Children and Youth, 2004).Although the joint statement on physical punishment of childrenand youth is merited in the protection of children and youth, the looselyconception of   “ physical punishment ”  in the statement in many waysputs at risk the parenting styles of Black families that do not completelyshun spanking as a disciplinary tool (Adjei et al., 2018; Kaufman et al., 2000; Rudy & Grusec, 2001). This therefore begs the question whether the voices in Durrant, Ensom and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth's (2004) joint statement included Black families.Lalonde, Jones, and Stroink (2008) note that Blacks parenting styles areconsiderably unique as their approaches to child rearing are inherentlylinked to the daily challenges and experiences they encounter in NorthAmerica. Having to cope with systemic racism and classism in NorthAmerica, Black families have adopted parenting practices that teach 1 Residential school system was a Canadian government sponsored religiousschool program designed to assimilate Indigenous children of Canada into Euro-Canadian culture between 1880 and 1996. Done with the complicit roles of Child Welfare Agencies, Indigenous children were deliberately and forcefullyremoved from their parents and placed into Residential schools. Children in theResidential schools were beset with fear, despair, violent humiliations, anddehumanized treatments (Shkilnyk, 1985).  P.B. Adjei, E. Minka Children and Youth Services Review 94 (2018) 511–524 512  Black children the importance of self-esteem, survival, self-respect, andhow to deal with the threats of racism in North America (Peters, 2002).These adopted Black parenting practices easily get lost and mis-represented within the rigid Child Welfare policies, procedures, andregulations.  2.2. Racism, Whiteness, Black parenting, and Child Welfare systems Saraceno (2012) examines ways in which White colonial and racistontology a ff  ects the delivery of professional services on organizationssuch as Child and Youth Care in the United States. Saraceno (2012)asserts that dominant colonial and racist practices have become part of the everyday operations of Child and Youth Care resulting in racisttargeting of Black and Latino families in the United States. Relatedly, inher study of   “ Whiteness and the politics of   ‘ race ’  in child protectionguidelines in Ireland, ”  Christie (2010) notes that despite the multi-cultural make up of Ireland, White Irish ideals of parenting continue tobe the standard norms by which all parenting practices are measured inIreland. Consequently, the Child Welfare Service providers in Irelandcontinue to view Black and non-White minority children as vulnerablegroup in need of constant protection. Christie (2010) argues thatthrough its child protection regulations and practices Child WelfareSystem in Ireland has moved from a  ‘ racial state, ’  whose policies used tohave no intended negative e ff  ects on racial minority groups, to a  ‘ raciststate ’  whose policies are intentionally targeting Blacks and racial min-ority groups. In Canada, Black families have similarly expressed con-cerns about what they perceived to be racist treatments from ChildWelfare Services workers (Adjei et al., 2018; Clarke, 2012; One Vision One Voice, 2016). Kiki Ojo, the manager of   “ One Vision One Voice, ” reiterates that systemic anti-Black racism is real and rampant in ChildProtection system in Ontario (Monsebraaten, 2018, para. 5). Williams (2004) also notes that Black parenting practices are critiqued di ff  er-ently and often assign negative meanings.What remains consistent in the literature review so far is that race,racism, and Whiteness consciously or unconsciously inform and shapeways in which Child Welfare services providers understand, relate, in-terpret, and response to Blacks parenting practices. If we are truly tomake sense of the overrepresentation of Black children in the ChildWelfare System in Ontario, then we have to recognize and unpack thebroader White hegemony and pro-White normativity in the operation of Child Welfare Agencies that in many cases put the parental practices of Black families at risk. The discussion that follows focuses on the theo-retical framework that guides the study. 3. Theoretical framework The study draws on the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) toground the discussion on Black parenting experiences. CRT emergedfrom the writings of Derick Bell and Alan Freeman in reaction to theine ff  ective approach of Civil Rights Movements in the United States.While CRT was developed in the United States, it has over the yearsgained intellectual currency in Canada. Carol Aylward and local legalgroups such as the African Canadian Legal Clinic in Toronto are amongnotable entities that have used CRT in Canada. CRT is interdisciplinaryin nature and has become a useful theoretical framework in unpackingissues of race and racism from multiple disciplines such as ethnic stu-dies, women's studies, legal theory, philosophy, sociology, history,education, and social work (Stovall, 2005). The adoption of CRT in thestudy helped us to appreciate how victims of systemic racism are af-fected by cultural perceptions of race and racism within the ChildWelfare Agencies. CRT was used in two distinct ways in the study: First,CRT was employed to o ff  er a thorough analysis of how the quotidiannature of racism informs and shapes Black parenting experiences inToronto. There is a continual denial of racism in Canada as racism isperceived less intense in nature compare to the United States (Saraceno,2012). Despite this perception, several researchers con fi rm both thecovert and overt forms of racism in Canada (Adjei, 2013, 2018; Adjei et al., 2018; Adjei & Gill, 2013; Kobayashi & Johnson, 2007; Pon, 2009; Pon et al., 2011; Saraceno, 2012; Williams, 2004). The normalization of  Whiteness has had dire consequences for Black parents as their par-enting practices are measured through the lens of Whiteness (Adjeiet al., 2018; Kobayashi & Johnson, 2007; Miehls, 2001; Saraceno, 2012; Walter, Taylor, & Habibis, 2011). The supremacy of Whiteness in par-enting practices dates to the past, where Child Welfare Agency workersparticipated in harming Absrcinal children, including placing them inresidential schools, and removing them from their families for adoptionin non-Native families or foster homes during the 60's scoop (Bennett,2015; Blackstock, 2009; Herring, Spangaro, Lauw, & McNamara, 2013; Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2015a; Truth and ReconciliationCommission, 2015b; Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2015c). de Finney et al. (2011) shows that  “ our critical exploration of minor-itization shows that, in fact, who ends up in care and why they end upthere is neither a coincidence nor the exclusive result of individualfailings, but rather an outcome of a system designed to reproducenormative roles for children, youth and families ”  (p.362). de Finneyet al. (2011) use the term  “ minoritization ”  to imply children positioned “ as outsiders to White, heterosexual, able, middle-class norms, andwho, as a result, face high indicators of social exclusion such as poverty,racism, and homophobia ”  (p.362).The use of CRT helps to challenge Child Welfare Agency's claims of neutrality, objectivity, colorblindness, and meritocracy that often be-come camou fl ages to sustain pro-White hegemony about parentingwhile ignoring the diverse parenting practices of Blacks and Indigenousfamilies. Child welfare workers, irrespective of their personal andprofessional experiences, must be equipped to recognize the sig-ni fi cance of ethnic and racial di ff  erences as they relate to child-rearingand must acknowledge the role of cultural and racial variability in theassessment and delivery of frontline services. Particularly, as noted byHarris (2014), child protection practitioners must be prepared tocombat cultural racism by embracing rather than negating the role of culture and racism in the daily lives and upbringing of children andfamilies living in North America. Employing CRT in the study assists usto explore how systemic racism and Whiteness within the Child WelfareSystem a ff  ect parenting experiences of Black families in Toronto.Second, in White settler societies such as Canada, where Whitehegemony continues to determine how system and structures function,Critical race theorists argue that counter-storytelling is an e ff  ectivemethod of telling stories of people whose experiences are not often told(Solórzano & Yosso, 2002) or when told are often ignored within lawand educational scholarship (Stovall, 2005). For Black parents in Tor-onto, there is a sense of imposed silenced and a sanctioned repression of their voices concerning their parenting practices. However,  “ if the rightto speak, is having credibility, if being heard is a kind of wealth ” (Solnit, 2017, para. 17), then CRT's counter-storytelling allows Blackparents to have their fair share of wealth. As Delgado (1989) aptly putsit, oppressed groups have known instinctively that stories are an es-sential tool to their own survival and liberation (p.2436). CRT allowsBlack parents to express their thoughts and experiences of rage, dis-enfranchisement, disempowerment, and disengagement in ways thatwill be heard by dominant groups (Delgaldo, 1995). Hunn, Guy, and Manglitz (2006) rightly note, CRT's counter-storytelling  “ can be apowerful individual testimony of resilience, ingenuity, and pain but canalso bear witness to institutionalized and unequal social relations thatthe dominant culture tends to minimize or deny ”  (p.249). The use of CRT in our study helped Black parents to recount their experiences of parenting in Canada as well as what they perceived to be a racist tar-geting from Child Welfare Agencies' workers. 4. Methodology We use CRT in our qualitative research design (Neuman, 2003).Solórzano and Yosso (2002) argue that CRT's counter-storytelling is a  P.B. Adjei, E. Minka Children and Youth Services Review 94 (2018) 511–524 513  useful tool to expose, analyze, and even challenge the dominant storiesof racial privilege and in some cases further the struggle for racial re-form. By using CRT in our qualitative research design, we explore thepotential of counter-storytelling as a research tool to challenge Whitehegemonic discourses around parenting. According to Gelling (2015),qualitative research  “ allows researchers to explore human experiencesin personal and social contexts, and gain greater understanding of thefactors in fl uencing these experiences ”  (p.43). Qualitative approachesinvolve immersion in to the everyday life of individuals, groups, so-cieties and organizations and o ff  er the opportunity to discover the innerexperiences of participants to unearth how meaning are constructedthrough culture (Barbour, 2013; Corbin & Strauss, 2008; Shaw & Gould, 2010). Researchers who engage in small-size sampled research havebeen criticized for low statistical power in predicting the probability of an e ff  ect on a population, which then raises issues of validity(Maruyama & Ryan, 2014). However, in using CRT's qualitative re-search, our goal was not necessarily to devise a theoretical general-ization but to understand Black parenting practices and what they re-present in social construction of   “ e ff  ective parenting ”  within ChildWelfare practices and regulations. More importantly, Black parents'shared-stories helped us to contradict and challenge White hegemonicnormalization of parenting practices within Child Welfare policies,regulations, and practices. Six (6) major questions guide the study in-cluding individual interviews in Toronto, Winnipeg, and St John's:i. What does  “ e ff  ective parenting ”  mean to Black parents and how aretheir de fi nitions similar or di ff  erent from that of other racial groupsin Canada?ii. What are the usual parenting rules and regulations Black parents setfor their children, and what actions are often taken if the rules arenot followed?iii. What are the motivations and consequent strategies for di ff  erentparenting practices among Black parents?iv. What are the historical and contemporary experiences as well associal and systemic conditions that inform and structure Blackparenting practices in Canada?v. How do Child Welfare workers respond to Black parenting prac-tices?vi. What are the main challenges and concerns of raising children inCanada and how are they di ff  erent from individuals' countries of srcin?As already mention, the broader research was done in three majorcities in Canada: Toronto (Ontario), Winnipeg (Manitoba), and St.John's (Newfoundland and Labrador). Toronto is appropriate because, fi rst, it has the largest populations of Blacks in Canada, and second, thePrincipal Investigator, and the  fi rst author of the present essay, haslived and worked in Toronto for ten years and has a lot of contacts tothe Black communities. This made recruitment of participants easier.Winnipeg and St John's were included in the study despite the presenceof fewer Black populations for three reasons: (a) Black immigrants'presence in these cities has increased over the last  fi ve years; (b) the PIand two co-applicants are currently living and working in St John's,while one co-applicant lives in Winnipeg, making it easier to recruitstudy participants in these places; and (c) it was helpful to compare the fi ndings of e ff  ective parenting among Blacks in three cities with large,medium, and small populations of Blacks in Canada. 4.1. Speci  fi c methodology  Our data collection occurred between September 2015 andDecember 2016 using a multi-faceted research design that employsthree types of methods. First, we did a comprehensive review of allrelated literature on selected immigrant communities of African andCaribbean descent. We reviewed literature on resettlement and policydocuments on integration and social capital to situate issues facingimmigrants in their integration process. We also uncovered demo-graphic information on the study communities from Statistics Canadadocumentations and reports. This approach allowed us to map thepro fi les of the study communities within the broader context of theimmigrant population in Canada and regional di ff  erences between sites.Second, we carried out semi-structured interviews with 100 individualparents  — 50 from Toronto, 30 from Winnipeg, and 20 from St. John's.Further, we did semi-structured interviews with 15 key informants inresettlement agencies and service providers in Toronto, St. John's, andWinnipeg to get their views and contacts within the selected commu-nities. In addition, we did three focus group interviews, one each inToronto, Winnipeg, and St John's. 4.2. Recruitment  After the study received an approval from InterdisciplinaryCommittee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) of MemorialUniversity of Newfoundland (MUN), the research team relied on ourinformal contacts as well as our insightful knowledge about the Blackcommunities in Toronto, Winnipeg, and St. John's as well as recruit-ment  fl yers distributed at local centres in the Black communities torecruit potential participants. We use purposive sampling instrument toensure that recruitment is an appropriate mix of Black parents of di-verse backgrounds (nationality, socio-economic status, religion, age,gender, and ethnicity). In all, 130 individuals were recruited for theindividual, key informant, and focused group interviews. 4.3. Data collection Author One used in-depth semi-structured interview method tocollect the data from Toronto between September 2015 and December2016. The in-depth interview method was helpful, as Boyce and Neale(2006) and Denzin and Lincoln (2011) suggest, to gain an in-depth knowledge of Black parenting experiences in Canada. It also enabledAuthor One to have comprehensive exchanges with Black parents(Atkinson & Delamont, 2010; Barbour, 2013). The interview process included several probing questions to gain clari fi cation on some of theresponses of participants (Chu & Ke, 2017). The individual and keyinformant interviews lasted between 45 and 60min, and the focusedgroup interview lasted between 90min and 2h. All interviews wereconducted at the places of choosing of participants and with the consentof participants, all individual and focused group interviews, with theexception of three individuals, were digitally recorded and notes weretaken to assist data analysis and interpretation. 4.4. Data analysis Since Author Two did not take part in the data collection at Toronto,he was given an opportunity to peruse the interview transcripts onseveral occasions to acquaint himself with the data. As part of histraining and with close supervision of Author One, Author Twomanually analyzed the Toronto interview transcripts, as Barbour (2013)suggests, manual analysis of interview transcripts helps novice quali-tative researchers to learn quickly about how to do qualitative analysis.Relying on the existing literature on parenting, Author Two coded theinterview transcript into themes according to the interview structureand emergent themes using combined coding methods: open coding,which aims at opening meaning in data and re fl exive processes (Tracy,2013); axial coding, which focuses on intensive analysis of a category ata time, and selective coding, which focuses on core codes (Shaw &Gould, 2010). Utilizing Microsoft Word, he created a table of threecolumns with each column assigned to (1) emerging themes, (2) voicesof participants that relate to the themes and (3) key ideas in partici-pants' statements. The key ideas highlighted our own interpretations of each code in relation to the broader theme. He highlighted similarvoices speaking to a particular theme with the same colour for better  P.B. Adjei, E. Minka Children and Youth Services Review 94 (2018) 511–524 514  analysis and organization. For instance on the emerging theme of  “ conception of e ff  ective parenting ” , he selected opinions of participantsthat addressed this theme and analyzed it to  fi gure out the core idea of their opinions. In some instances, he created sub-themes to re fl ectbroadly the diverse participants' responses. He repeated this procedurefor other themes. He also cross-referenced participants' responses withinterview notes and existing literature to elicit points of convergenceand divergence as well as sources of tension and pedagogic relevance.He used existing literature on parenting practices as a comparative basisfor interrogating and interpreting local cultural knowledge and ex-periences on Black parenting practices.Qualitative research demands a high sense of transparency as itrequires researchers to be honest and open to the activities of the re-search (Tracy, 2013). In order to o ff  er cogent analysis, we used extractsof the transcripts to buttress our points in the data reporting. In order tomaintain the con fi dentiality and anonymity of participation, we gavepseudonyms to participants as well as removed or altered all informa-tion that could compromise participants' identity when reporting the fi ndings. Further, we edited each quote and statement of participants toremove pauses such as  “ like, ” “ uh ”  and  “ um ” , and where necessary wecorrected grammatical errors for  fl uency. In editing quotes and state-ments, we were careful not to tamper with the substance of what par-ticipants' said.The Table 1 below gives an overview of participants whose voiceswere captured in the present essay:In the ensuing section, we share some of the related study  fi ndings. 5. Findings: conceptualization of e ff  ective parenting As denoted in the literature review, Western conceptualization of e ff  ective parenting places Black and Indigenous parents at a dis-advantage. Muir and Bohr (2014) opine that over-representation of Black children in the Child Welfare System has been attributed to thenotion that there is one way to raise a  “ normal ”  child appropriately. It isimportant therefore to understand how Black parents themselves un-derstand and operationalize  “ e ff  ective parenting. ”  In the study, parti-cipants explained diverse ways they understood and conceptualized “ e ff  ective parenting ” . Black parents used themes such as  “ providingnecessities of life ”  and  “ building relationship ”  to explain their under-standing of e ff  ective parenting. 5.1. Providing necessities of life Solomon, a Ghanaian parent, claimed that e ff  ective parenting in-volves the provision of the necessities of life including education toensure a better future of child(ren): “ E ff  ective parenting to me is to make sure your kid has a better placeto live. Always food in the home, encouraging them to become goodpeople in the society. E ff  ective parenting again is also making surethat they get the necessary education that they need so they becomea better person in future ”  [Solomon, Interview, 05/23/2016]Philip, an Ethiopian parent, also alluded to the importance of pro-viding necessities of life, as well as instilling values in children as one of the crucial requirement of e ff  ective parenting: “ E ff  ective parenting depends on in my case the extreme love I giveto my children is just I don't know as long as you love your childrenyou provide them with basic, the time the education everything. Ithink e ff  ective parenting is also trying to instill certain values thatthere is the real world out there to be navigated through thesystem. ”  [Philip, Interview, 05/13/2016]For some Black parents, that the provision of the necessities of lifealone is not enough to make e ff  ective parenting. Other activities such asdiscipline measures are also needed to realize e ff  ective parenting. Eva,a Ghanaian mother, subscribed to the idea of adding discipline mea-sures to the provision of the necessities of life: “  Well, if you are able to provide for your kids and you correct themwhen they go wrong and you are always there for them. I think youare being e ff  ective ” . [Eva, Interview, 05/20/2016]From Black parents' responses, the provision of necessities of life isone of the core requirements of being an e ff  ective parent. Indeed, the Criminal Code of Canada, C-46 section 215, Sub-section 1A , makes it clearthat the provision of the necessities of life is a legal requirement of anyparent:  “ As a parent, foster parent, guardian or head of a family, toprovide necessaries of life for a child under the age of sixteen years ” (Criminal Code of Canada, 2018, p.274). What was not apparent to us iswhether these parents were aware of the existence of such law, or theybelieve that even without backing of the law, all parents are required toprovide necessities of life for their children because that is the Table 1 Overview of Study Participant Characteristics No Pseudonym Place of Birth Educational Background Occupation Family Structure Kids1 Hannah Trinidad & Tobago Postsecondary (PhD) Corporate-Skilled Two-parent 22 Eva Ghana Postsecondary (Diploma) Private-Unskilled Two-parent 23 Solomon Ghana Postsecondary (Diploma) Public-skilled Two-parent 24 Paul Ghana High School Certi fi cate Retired Two-parent 35 Jackson Ghana Postsecondary (Masters) Not mentioned Two-parent 46 John Zimbabwe Postsecondary ( fi rst degree) Not mentioned One-parent 37 Harriet Nigeria Postsecondary (Masters) Public-skilled Two-parent 58 Dorcas Ghana Postsecondary (Masters) Public-skilled Two-parent 49 Olivia Kenya Postsecondary (Masters) Public-skilled One-parent 310 Naomi Ghana Postsecondary (PhD) Student Two-parent 211 George Trinidad & Tobago Postsecondary (PhD) Public-skilled Two-parent 212 Ruby Nigeria Postsecondary (Masters) Public-skilled One-parent 313 Phillip Ethiopia Postsecondary (PhD) Public-skilled Two-parent 414 Marcus Trinidad & Tobago Postsecondary (Masters) Public-skilled Two-parent 315 Joshua 1 Ghana Not mentioned Private-unskilled Two-parent 416 Joshua 2 Ghana Not mentioned Not mentioned Two-parent 517 Kevin Jamaica Postsecondary ( fi rst degree) Private-skilled One-parent 418 Martha Nigeria Postsecondary (Masters) Private-skilled One-parent 119 Wilson England, Barbados, Ghana Postsecondary (Masters) Public-skilled One-parent 220 Sina Ghana Postsecondary (PhD) Public-skilled Two-parent 321 Sally Nigeria Postsecondary (Masters) Private-skilled One-parent 222 Melissa Ghana Postsecondary (Masters) Private-skilled Two-parent 223 Belinda Jamaica Postsecondary (Phd) Student Two-parent 224 Samuel Ghana  –  Private-unskilled Two-parent 1  P.B. Adjei, E. Minka Children and Youth Services Review 94 (2018) 511–524 515
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