African American Caregivers: Seasons of Care Practice and Policy Perspectives for Social Workers and Human Service Professionals

Sandra Edmonds Crewe, PhD (Editor)
Howard University

Charnetta Gadling-Cole, PhD (Editor)
Department of Social Work, Psychology and Counseling, Alabama A&M University, AL, US

Series: Social Issues, Justice and Status


Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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Caregiving is a long standing tradition in the African American community. This book provides historical and contemporary insight into caregiving. The authors intertwine the African American struggle for dignity and social justice with their discussion of various aspects of caregiving. An overarching theme of the book is the resilience of African Americans in carrying out their caregiving responsibilities. Although disparities are a part of the caregiving landscape, the authors individually and collectively present a rhythm of caregiving that engages the reader in caregiving across the life span. This in depth look at the African American caregiving experience exposes readers to a broader lens, thus avoiding the often overly simplistic view or culturally limited view of their caregiving experience.

Caregiving is not limited to any particular group—the old and the young are a part of the caregiving experience that is discussed in this book. The book is a collaboration between social work programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities—Howard University (Washington, DC) and Alabama A&M University (Normal, Alabama). The book includes a wide range of content, from caring for older persons with dementia to younger disabled children. The authors/contributors also range in age and experience as caregivers. All of the authors have extensive experience working with African Americans. These are authentic accounts of the caregiving experience within the African American community.

The book is authored by social workers who reflect the core values of the profession. Interwoven throughout the chapters are the National Association of Social Workers’ six core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of person, importance of human relationship, integrity and competence. Additionally, the authors emphasize the implications for practice and policy in their unique contributions. Social workers as well as other human service professionals will find the book useful in their practice. Also, this book is especially suited for students who are working with the different populations discussed by the authors. For example, social gerontology classes will benefit from the chapter that specifically focuses on older persons and caregiving. Similarly, students focused on mental health service delivery will also benefit from the rich discussion of well-being, spirituality, and resilience. Students can use the text as well in practice and policy courses.

One of the unique aspects of this book is in the chapter on caregiver reflections that links the narratives of caregivers with the various chapters. These narratives touch the heart as well as provide guidance for policy and practice that addresses the core of the caregiving experiences. Through their reflections, caregiving takes on multiple voices that merge to create harmony in the understanding of the African American experience. Narrative titles such as “Someone stop the Ride, I Really Want to Get off” and “Clara’s Gift: Caring for Grandma” are exemplary of the rich and moving stories that accompany this book. (Imprint: Nova)



About Our Authors

Chapter 1 - African American Caregivers of Older Adults: An Overview (pp. 1-14)
Charnetta Gadling-Cole and Gwendolyn Williams (Alabama A&M University, AL, US)

Chapter 2 - Theoretical Perspectives of Caregiving in the African American Community (pp. 15-24)
Charnetta Gadling-Cole, Ph.D., MSW, and Cathy McElderry (Alabama A&M University, AL, US)

Chapter 3 - ''Called by God'': Caregiving and Spirituality among African Americans Caregiving and Spirituality among African American Caregiving (pp. 25-36)
Christine Y. Wiley, D.Min., MSW (Howard University School of Social Work, Washington DC, US)

Chapter 4 - African-American Kinship Caregivers: Family Service Needs and Permanency (pp. 37-50)
Carrie Jefferson Smith, D.S.W., Associate Professor, and Deborah J. Monahan, Ph.D., Professor (School of Social Work, Syracuse University, NY, US)

Chapter 5 - Families Providing Care Across Generations: Pickle in the Middle (pp. 51-62)
Pamela Q. Plummer, PhD (Alabama A&M University, AL, US)

Chapter 6 - Caregiving in the African American Community: An Examinationn of Mental Health and Well-Being (pp. 63-78)
Dennis J. Weiss, PhD, MSW (Alabama A&M University, AL, US)

Chapter 7 - Unseen, Unheard, and Nearly Invisible: Implications for Caregiving of Older Black Men Living with HIV/AIDS (pp. 79-98)
Terrell D. Brown, Ph.D., MSW, MA (Barry University School of Social Work, FL, US)

Chapter 8 - African American Professional and Managerial Baby-Boomer Women: Managing the Glass Ceiling and Caregiving Responsibilities for Older Parents (pp. 99-114)
Claudia Thorne, MSW, LISW (Howard University School of Social Work, Washington DC, US)

Chapter 9 - Dementia Related Diagnoses and Caregiving for African Americans: Responding to God’s Plan (pp. 115-126)
Rachel Robinson, PhD, LCSW, and Donna Gibson McCrary, PhD, LGSW. (Alabama A&M University, AL, US)

Chapter 10 - African American Caregivers Raising Children with Disabilities: Doing More with Less (pp. 127-142)
Carl L. Algood, PhD, MSW, LICSW, and Ruby M. Gourdine, DSW, LICSW. (Bowie State University, MD, US and others)

Chapter 11 - Grandparents and Grandchildren: An Enduring Bond of Caregiving in the African American Community (pp. 143-156)
Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D., MSW, ACSW (Howard University School of Social Work, Washington DC, US)

Chapter 12 - Generativity among African American Grandfathers Serving As Kinship Care Providers (pp. 157-172)
Olga Osby, DSW, MSW, and Carrie J. Smith, DSW, MSW, ACSW. (School of Social Work, Jackson State University, MS, US and others)

Chapter 13 - Bringing the Outside In: A Loss and Grief Perspective for African American Caregivers (pp. 173-186)
Cynthia E. Harris, DHA, MBPA, LICSW, LCSW-C. (Howard University School of Social Work, Washington DC, US)

Chapter 14 - Yet With a Steady Beat - African American Reflections on Seasons of Caregiving (pp. 187-226)
Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D., MSW, ACSW, Tyriesa Howard, MSW, LMSW Mildred C. Joyner, Ph.D., MSW, Annie Brown, Ph.D., MSW, Robert Brown, Carolyn Walden, Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D., MSW, Marian C. Williams, Janice M. Davis, MSW, LCSW-C, Damien T. Frierson, Ph.D., MSW, Tyriesa L. Howard, MSW, LMSW, and Chris Jones (Howard University School of Social Work, Washington DC, US)

Chapter 15 - The Way Forward: African American Caregivers Continuing the Tradition of Taking Care of Our Own (pp. 227-234)
Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D., and Charnetta G. Cole, Ph.D. (Howard University School of Social Work, Washington DC, US and others)


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