Synthesis of Research on Disproportionality in Child Welfare: An Update

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Center for the Study of Social Policy

October 1, 2006

Summary

An estimated 60% of U.S. children living in foster care are children of color. Such disproportionate representation of minority children in the child welfare system has long been a concern. This report explores patterns of child maltreatment and disproportionality, and how the race of a child affects decision making at various stages of child welfare – from reporting and investigations to placement in foster care and community factors.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Causes of Minority Disproportionality Unclear

While race is a factor in the decision making of child protective service agencies, and while there are disparities in the treatment of minority children and families, the causes of minority disproportionality are not readily identifiable or understood. 

Findings & Stats

Minority Disproportionality

Blacks and American Indians are represented in foster care at twice their proportions in the census populations.

Statements & Quotations