Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI)

Scientific Rating:
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI) has been reviewed by the CEBC in the areas of: Family Stabilization Programs and Reducing Racial Disparity and Disproportionality in Child Welfare: Programs, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: African American children and families involved with the child welfare system

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Brief Description

MYFI in Polk County, Iowa, aims to reduce the proportion of African-American children in the child welfare system. Public child welfare staff addresses needs and concerns of African-American families and engages them as team members from the beginning of the case by utilizing Pre- and Post-Removal Family Conferencing and Family Team Meetings (facilitated by African-American workers). Parent Partners (alumni of the child welfare system) serve as guides and advocates for child welfare involved families. Culturally competent services, resources and support for families, training for staff, and flexible dollars used to meet family needs are also important elements of the program.

Program Goals:

The goals of Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI) are:

  • Decrease in proportion of African-American children in child welfare system
  • Increase in satisfaction of African-American families served by child welfare system

Essential Components

The essential components of Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI) include:

  • Pre-removal conferencing
  • Post-removal conferencing (within 24 hours of removal)
  • Family Team Meetings
  • African-American facilitators for Family Team Meetings and conferencing
  • Parent Partners (alumni of the child welfare system serving as guides and advocates)
  • Culturally relevant and supportive services, resources, training, and programs
  • Flexible dollars used to support families in a variety of ways (e.g., emergency utility payments, gas money to aid parenting interaction time, etc.)

Parent/Caregiver Services

Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Referral to the public child welfare system. Associated symptoms vary from substance abuse and domestic violence to poverty to mental health issues, etc.
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Family Team Meetings and Pre-Removal Conferencing are utilized to identify and maintain family supports. Parent partners/Community Partnership for Protecting Children may also be utilized.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency
  • Hospital


This program does not include a homework component.


Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI) does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Trained social workers and family group conferencing facilitators

Minimum Provider Qualifications

BA for child welfare workers; prefer MSW for supervisors

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Provided on-site, usually through contract for strengths-based culturally competent practice

Number of days/hours:

1-2 days

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Child Welfare Outcomes: Not Specified

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI).


Derezotes, D. M., Richardson, B., King, C. B., Kleinschmit, J., & Pratt, B. (2011). Evaluating multi-systemic efforts to impact disproportionality through key decision points. In Green, D. K., Belanger, K., McRoy, R., & Bullard L. B. (Eds.), Challenging racial disproportionality in child welfare: Research, policy, and practice. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

Richardson, B. (2011). Comparative analysis of two community-based efforts designed to impact disproportionality. In Green, D. K., Belanger, K., Bullard L. B., & McRoy, R. G. (Eds.), The practice of social work: Addressing racial disproportionality and disparity of outcomes in child welfare. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

Richardson, B. (2010). Measuring strategies to reduce disparities: Utilizing the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool. Special issue on child welfare and juvenile justice disproportionality/disparity. The Journal of Health & Human Services Administration.

Contact Information

Name: Julia Kleinschmit
Agency/Affiliation: The University of Iowa and Iowa Dept. Human Svcs.
Phone: (712) 279-5271 or (402) 841-4919

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2013

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: December 2011

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2011