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

About This Program

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

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

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

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI).

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.)

Program Delivery

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.

Recommended Intensity:

1-2 hours per week with family team meeting, parent partner contacts, and other referrals based on need

Recommended Duration:

2-3 months

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Hospital
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Trained social workers and family group conferencing facilitators

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

BA for child welfare workers; prefer MSW for supervisors

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

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

Number of days/hours:

1-2 days

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

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

Additional References

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

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: October 2023

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: December 2011

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2011