Historically, the child welfare system has struggled with achieving equity for all identity groups. This section includes data on disproportionality and disparities within the child welfare system and approaches to calculating disproportionality rates.
2019 Report on Disproportionality of Placements of Indian Children (PDF - 105 KB)
National Indian Child Welfare Association (2019)
Describes what disproportionality is and statistics on the overrepresentation of American Indian/Alaska Native children within the foster care system. The 15 States with the highest rates of disproportionality are listed.
Children in Foster Care by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States
Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Center (2019)
Provides the number and percentage of children categorized by race in foster care in the United States annually for 2008–2017. The tabs at the top of the webpage and the menu on the left-hand sidebar change how the data are visualized and which data are visualized.
Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care (Fiscal Year 2015) (PDF - 5,888 KB)
Ganasarajah, Siegel, & Sickmund (2017)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Discusses and visualizes the disproportionality rates for children of color in foster care. It displays data and compares disproportionality rates over time from all 50 States; Washington, DC; and Puerto Rico, including data found in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System and U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
Also see: Over Representation of Marginalized Communities in Child Welfare [Webinar]
Measuring Disparities in Child Welfare Systems: Five Lessons
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2017)
Explains lessons from the field in using data to create more equitable outcomes for children and youth in the child welfare system.
The Overrepresentation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Questioning, Gender Nonconforming and Transgender Youth Within the Child Welfare to Juvenile Justice Crossover Population (PDF - 332 KB)
Irvine & Canfield (2016)
Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, 2(24)
Outlines the methodology of and findings from a national research study on crossover youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, gender nonconforming, and transgender (LGBQ/GNCT) within the child welfare to juvenile justice crossover population in comparison to youth who are not LGBQ/GNCT. The findings include an overrepresentation of youth who are LGBQ/GCNT in the crossover population being removed from their home and placed in group or foster homes.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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