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Call for Papers: Special Issue of the APSAC Advisor

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Guest Editors: Jessica Pryce, Ph.D., MSW, Assistant Professor, Florida State University
Reiko Boyd, Ph.D., MSW, Assistant Professor, University of Houston

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) Advisor will publish a special issue focused on confronting systemic racism and bias as they impact disproportionality and injustice experienced by Black families in child welfare.

The Advisor is a peer reviewed journal for professionals in the field of child abuse and neglect. The Advisor provides succinct, data-based, practice-oriented articles that keep interdisciplinary professionals informed of the latest developments in policy and practice the field of child maltreatment. The journal is designed to highlight best practices in the field and publish original articles and current information about child maltreatment for professionals from a variety of backgrounds including medicine, law, law enforcement, social work, child protective services, psychology, public health and prevention in the U.S.

The recent coalescence of major events has created an unprecedented sociopolitical context in which systemic racism has become a subject of mainstream public discourse. In the aftermath of the killings of George Floyd and numerous unarmed Black Americans, the Black Lives Matter movement has once again been galvanized and there has been an unprecedented global awakening toward racial justice. In addition, a new alarm has been sounded given the increased recognition of racial disparities in prevalence and severity of COVID-19, which continues to rage as the most severe pandemic of modern times.

This context begs for a reckoning of how the problems of racism, marginalization, and injustice routinely manifest in child welfare system practices, policies, and procedures. It also sheds light on the urgent need for child welfare practitioners, researchers, and policy makers to make a new investment in the pursuit of equity for Black communities. It is imperative that the field examine how system practices and policies might reinforce or recreate inequitable outcomes for marginalized groups, and particularly for Black Americans.

Currently, child welfare experiences and outcomes for Black Americans continue to be characterized by disproportionality and disparity. The persistence of these inequities has become common knowledge, and some schools of thought within the field assert that they are rationalizable or to be expected, and thus undeserving of further attention. However, it is imperative to reject the notion that disparities in child welfare outcomes should be tolerated or accepted. Instead, much more research and intentional actions and new approaches are needed to address these issues.

As such, this call for papers invites policy-based, theoretical, and empirical papers that employ a variety of methods to expand our knowledge on:

  • New frameworks for understanding disproportionality and disparity and how to eliminate these problems (Models of community co-designs/Abolition).
  • Strategies for promoting equal opportunity and enhanced outcomes for black children in contact with the child welfare system.
  • Anti-black racism, its impact on the child welfare system and adjacent child wellbeing agencies, and strategies to address this problem.
  • The impact of technology and/or predictive analytics on child welfare outcomes for Black youth and families
  • The consequences of racial/ethnic inequities in child welfare and social services systems and their impact on the wellbeing of Black families.
  • The experiences of racism and bias among Black families in contact with the child welfare system.
  • Culturally responsive innovations that reframe traditional approaches to prevention and supportive services for Black families at risk of contact with the child welfare system.
  • The strengths of Black families and communities in contact with the child welfare system. Explorations of how Black families have persisted, displayed resilience and resistance, and thrived despite inequities in outcomes and experiences.

The special issue seeks to include multiple perspectives from seminal and new voices. New authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts. Inquiries regarding the fit of particular manuscripts for the special issue can be made to Dr. Jessica Pryce at

For consideration in the special issue, authors must submit a commitment notice, in the form of an abstract which describes your paper, by March 15, 2021 to Approval of abstracts will be sent out within 4 weeks of submission, and final manuscripts are due October 1, 2021.

Call for Papers Available: February 2021
Manuscript Abstracts: March 15, 2021
Manuscript: October 1, 2021
Publication: Spring 2022
For more information about the APSAC Advisor and submissions, visit: