A Culturally Competent Family Enhancement and Empowerment Model for African American Parents

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Smith College Studies in Social Work

Publication Date


Date Added



The National Association of Social Worker's Standards for Cultural Competence (2002) mandates social work practices that recognize the cultural preferences of different groups in the United States. The NASW Code of Ethic (1996) states that social workers have a responsibility to understand culture and its function and to further recognize the strengths that exist in all cultures. This article addresses the void in the social work literature on culturally based and strengths‐oriented family interventions for African American parents. The article describes a culturally competent intervention model developed by the MAAT Center for Human and Organizational Enhancement, Inc. in Washington, D.C. for parents of African American male youths who live in high‐risk environments. The family enhancement and empowerment model (FEEM) is based on Africentric social work principles that are grounded in a strengths perspective. The article describes the FEEM program, including a discussion of practical strategies for building trust and offering support to African American parents and families.




Social Work

Comments/Extra Notes

Additional author: Cooper, Jeanne D.