Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare


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Child welfare agencies and other social and educational systems must work with each other and the vulnerable citizens whose lives are affected to effect lasting change from entrenched patterns of the past that influence responses to trauma and maltreatment. In order to ensure culturally relevant services , it falls to leadership at every level of the agency, through the use of training, mentoring, modeling, and monitoring, to ensure that the staff is educated about and sensitive to racial and cultural issues.

What Mandated Reporters Need to Know about Racial Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System

Cultural knowledge and awareness should become pervasive in every aspect of the agency. Differential treatment by race may be external or internal to the child welfare agency or both.

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For example, inequitable practices by outside agents might interact with the child welfare system e. Likewise, culture and policy within an agency may lead to inequitable treatment of families of color. Research suggests that there is a broad pattern of inequitable resources available to families of color in the child welfare system, such as housing, counseling and child care services. Studies have confirmed that racial disproportionality exists across the nation, and that magnitude and types of disparity, as well as the population for which the disparities exist, are unique to the geographic location.

Transforming how systems interact with children and families of color

Research and practice suggests that racial disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system may be explained by all the aforementioned theories. Some argue that the disproportionate removal of children of color from their families is not necessarily indicative of bad or biased practice as some claim , but could reflect fair, accurate and safe decision making on the part of the child welfare caseworker or judge. At this point, research in the area of disparities in child welfare is not capable of identifying why these disparities exist, but it does point to several causal links.

More than offering a reason why, this research invalidates several assertions and opens the door for more in-depth research. Share Via:. About a number of different publications that all contribute to characterizing and explaining the issue. A collective perspective on the major underlying causes and theories regarding disproportionality and disparity in child welfare. The limitations of the research conducted and information gathered to date. Biases: NCWWI 1-Page Summary This document describes the biases that can create barriers to organizational change and gives pointed recommendations for confronting and changing institutionalized racism and biases in the organization.

Best Practices Guide for Working with Families from Refugee Backgrounds in Child Welfare This guide is an overview of selected topics that are relevant to providing culturally responsive services to families with refugee backgrounds and understanding their unique needs.

Child Welfare Information Gateway: Cultural Competence This webpage provides resources to help workers, agencies, and systems better understand and enhance their cultural competence, including information on working with children, youth, and families; disproportional representation of minority groups in the child welfare system; culturally competent services; training for child welfare staff; and the specific role of cultural competence in child maltreatment, out-of-home care, and adoption.

Cultural Resources for Practitioners This document provides child welfare practitioners a list of resources and learning opportunities that focus on cultural issues and specific populations, raise awareness and promote critical thinking about cultural issues common to child welfare practice. Cultural Humility This minute documentary explains what cultural humility is and why we need it, and describes a set of principles that guide the thinking, behavior and actions of individuals and institutions to positively affect interpersonal relationships as well as systems change.

Cultural Humility and Management in Child Welfare This webinar discusses culture, multiculturalism, intersectionality and how cultural humility connects to cultural competence and contributes to cultural responsiveness. It includes a video case example and discussion on how to apply the concepts to agency practice.

Cultural Humility in Child Welfare Practice This webcast provides a case-based, self-reflective and interactive training curriculum, helping child welfare staff to learn from the diverse people with whom they work, reserve judgment, and bridge the cultural divide between perspectives in order to develop and maintain mutual respect and a collaborative working relationship. Culturally Competent Practice with Latino Children and Families Instructor Manual This training curriculum is designed to child [WU1] protection staff on culturally competent practice with Latino children and families by building competency for work with this population using a Systems of Care model.

Culturally Competent Practice with Latino Families Georgia This training curricula provides participants with an introduction to the basic concepts of culturally competent practice, and specific skills and knowledge for culturally competent practice with Latino families. Culturally Responsive Child Welfare Practice - CW This issue explores cultural responsiveness and concepts related to culturally informed practice, features an expanded practice section focusing on innovative, community developed practices, presents articles from child welfare stakeholders on practice implementation and the personal impact of addressing culture in child welfare work, and offers tools and information to help professionals apply the concepts in their own work settings.

Dismantling Racial Inequity 2: Community Collaboration and Grassroots Effort This webinar is the second session of "Dismantling Racial Inequity Through Child Welfare Systems Change" webinar series and highlights the partnership between Iowa Department of Human Services and Native American community representatives and their efforts to address the overrepresentation of Native American children in the Woodbury County child welfare system. Dismantling Racial Inequity 4: Slow and Steady Wins the RACE of Child Welfare Equity This webinar is the fourth session of "Dismantling Racial Inequity Through Child Welfare Systems Change" webinar series and focuses on DCF's work related to agency and workforce development, as well as sustainability The team shares their experiences on what it seems to take to keep the work of racial justice in the forefront, in the background, and at all levels—in ways that ultimately impact children, families, and communities.

Expanding the Family Circle This webpage provides Expanding the Family Circle training which teaches a framework for the experienced caseworker to integrate a culturally competent family-centered approach to casework practice with all families engaged in child welfare services and offers skills and strategies for working with all members of a family system, including couples, resident and non-resident fathers, extended family members and community supports.

Family Reunification Among Mexican and Vietnamese Immigrant Children in the Child Welfare System: Toward an Understanding of Promising Practices to Improve Service Availability and Effectiveness This study examines family reunification among Mexican and Vietnamese immigrant and non-immigrant children and identifies promising practices to improve service availability and effectiveness. FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention: Cultural Responsiveness This webpage provides training tools on cultural responsiveness and offer a basic framework for stimulating discussion about: a what is meant by cultural responsiveness and why it is important, b how to evaluate individual and organizational cultural responsiveness, and c how to begin to develop cultural responsiveness and create a culturally specific approach to ensure ongoing success.


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Immigration and Language Guidelines for Child Welfare Staff, 2nd edition This booklet offers an overview of immigration and language issues to best serve the child welfare issues for the New York City's immigrant community. Information Packet Cultural Sensitivity with Immigrant Families and Their Children This document provides basic information on incorporating cultural sensitivity in interventions with immigrant families and children.

Keywords: Native American, American Indian Resources for Child Welfare Professionals Working with Families from Refugee Backgrounds This guide provides information and resources to assist child welfare workers in providing culturally responsive, appropriate services to meet the unique needs of families with refugee backgrounds.

It provides concrete tips that supervisors can utilize in their day-to-day work in order to provide supervision that helps workers to enhance their skills in practicing with LGBTQ children, youth, and families and to promote an LGBTQ-affirming agency environment. Working with Clients who are Immigrants a Guide for Connecticut DCF' Social Workers This guide was designed for social workers in Connecticut but serves as an example that other states may wish to replicate.


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It includes sections on demographics, statuses and statistics, legislation regarding basic needs eligibility, the immigration experience, and more. Back to the Top. Addressing Disproportionality of Minorities in the Iowa Child Welfare System This Executive Summary document serves to provide a brief introduction to the issues, data, and next steps for a statewide approach to get beyond dialogue to action for addressing disproportionality of minorities in the Iowa child welfare system.

It features an inside look at how the W. Haywood Burns Institute and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Social Policy use disaggregated data on race and ethnicity to improve the lives of children and communities. The Kirwan and Burns examples illustrate why the collection, analysis and use of race and ethnicity data should be an integral part of any strategy, initiative or legislative agenda affecting children, families and communities. Data Strategies: Measuring Racial Disparities in Child Welfare This webinar helps agency leaders, managers and data staff identify at which decision points children of different races experience inequitable outcomes, and measure the effectiveness of improvement efforts.

The Bulletin makes comparisons between and disproportionality rates to illustrate changes that have occurred in the last decade regarding overrepresentation of children of color in the foster care system.


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African American and Native American disproportionality rates are illustrated in color coded maps demonstrate trends over time. The report features the new Race for Results Index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels, and makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families realize their full potential. Race to Equity: A Baseline Report on the State of Racial Disparities in Dane County This report summarizes the first year of data collection, analysis and community feedback--all aimed at promoting greater public awareness and understanding of the depth and breadth of the racial disparities that differentiate the white and black experience in Dane County, Wisconsin.

Racial Disproportionality and Disparity in Child Welfare This issue brief explores the prevalence of racial disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system and describes strategies that can assist child welfare administrators, program managers, and policymakers with addressing these issues in general and at specific decision points in the child welfare process e.

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The Politics of Racial Disproportionality of the Child Welfare System in New York

Examples of State and local initiatives that address disproportionality also are highlighted. The authors review data, research on theories of racial disproportionality in the child welfare system and efforts by organizations and jurisdictions around the country to reduce disproportionality. The report features promising practices that include further analysis of child welfare data, creation of an action committee, and development of an action plan. Racial Equity Child Welfare Data Analysis Tool State of The Science: Implicit Bias Review This this publication highlights new academic literature through the lenses of five main domain areas: criminal justice, health and health care, employment, education, and housing.

Accompanying these five content areas is a discussion of the latest research-based strategies for mitigating the influence of implicit biases, assessments, measurements, as well as a recognition of major contributions that expand beyond these domain-specific boundaries. Courageous Conversations about Race This webinar presentation describes four steps: notice, engage, understand, and empathize of having courageous conversations about race.

Dismantling Racism: A Resource Book: For Social Change Groups This resource book is a compilation of materials designed to supplement a Dismantling Racism workshop, which supports organizations to build a shared analysis of race and racism, to engage in anti-racist organizational development and to move racial justice organizing campaigns. Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation Discussion Guide This discussion guide helps all kinds of people take part in meaningful dialogue to examine gaps among racial and ethnic groups and create institutional and policy change.

It is the first installment in the 5-part Race for Results Case Study series, which explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity in America. Hardy's Tasks of the Privileged and Subjugated This model offers guidelines for effectively discussing racism or other forms of social oppression in a mixed group.

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