My journey toward anti-oppressive work in child welfare

  • Kimberly A. Brisebois University of Windsor
  • A. Antonio González-Prendes Wayne State University
Keywords: anti-oppressive, social work, child welfare, power, self-discovery.


The following narrative describes a social worker’s journey of critical analysis and struggle as a worker in the bureaucratic framework of child welfare.  The narrative describes a process of self-exploration that led the social worker through an evaluation of personal and professional values.  The outcome of this journey was a reinforced commitment to the self-determination of clients, to rebalance power inequities, and refute systemic inequities.

Author Biographies

Kimberly A. Brisebois, University of Windsor
For the past 20 years, Dr. Brisebois has worked in the field of child welfare in a variety of roles. She delivers ongoing training to child welfare professionals. She has also worked as a sessional instructor for the University of Windsor since 2005 and teaches a wide range of social work skills at every level of intervention. Dr. Brisebois’ research interests include the examination of various aspects of the recent Ontario child welfare transformation agenda and subsequent policy changes, including children’s permanency in foster care, kinship care, and the utilization of social supports. Her dissertation work examines caseworker attitudes and the influence of those attitudes on case decision-making
A. Antonio González-Prendes, Wayne State University
Dr. A. Antonio González-Prendes is an associate professor at Wayne State University's School of Social Work where he also serves as Chair, Interpersonal Practice Concentration for advanced year students in the MSW program. Dr. González-Prendes is licensed as a clinical social worker in the State of Michigan and has 25 years of experience working with individuals and families with mental health and substance abuse issues