This section includes resources that discuss strategies for reducing and/or eliminating disproportionality and disparity within the child welfare system. It is critical for child welfare to focus on equity throughout the child welfare continuum, from prevention of abuse and neglect to adoption. Addressing racial inequity often includes strategies to influence change at the policy, program, workforce, and evaluation levels.
- Addressing LGBTQ disproportionality and disparities
- Addressing bias
- Data-, evaluation-, & policy-focused strategies
- State and local examples
Advancing Equitable Outcomes for Infants and Toddlers Involved in Child Welfare (PDF - 1,413 KB)
Quality Improvement Center for Research-Based Infant-Toddler Court Teams (2018)
Describes the overrepresentation and disparate treatment and outcomes for children of color within the child welfare system and calls out the role that infant-toddler court teams have in advancing equity. A process, tool, and various strategies are presented that build upon the Safe Babies Court Team™ approach.
|Series Title||Bulletins for Professionals|
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 523KB)
Intersectionality in Child Welfare (PDF - 271 KB)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (2021)
Illustrates the framework of intersectionality and emphasizes the importance of social identities and how they overlap across systems of discrimination and privilege.
Manifesto for Race Equity & Parent Leadership in Early Childhood Systems (PDF - 3,451 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2019)
Outlines five commitments for change and related actions to enhance race equity and parent leadership in early childhood systems of care, which are key for child abuse and neglect prevention.
Promoting Racial Equity Through Workforce & Organizational Actions (PDF - 234 KB)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (2017)
Describes what racial equity is in child welfare, why we need to take action, and provides suggestions on how to get started. This infographic also has a supporting discussion guide to better reach learning objectives.
Race Equity Crosswalk Tool: Targeted and Universal Strategies Achieve Better and More Equitable Results (PDF - 397 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2017)
Contains four quick and concrete recommended steps to close racial equity gaps. The resource includes effective questions to help develop a results action plan with strategies that specifically target racial equity.
Racial Disproportionality and Disparities in the Child Welfare System: Why Do They Exist, and What Can Be Done to Address Them?
Dettlaff & Boyd (2021)
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Reviews causes of racial disproportionality and the best way to address it. The article indicates that racial disparity causes separation of families, which should not be viewed as acceptable.
Racial Equity Toolkit: An Opportunity to Operationalize Equity (PDF - 4,567 KB)
Nelson & Brooks (2016)
Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race and Equity
Provides processes and tools to ensure that racial equity is integrated into discussions and decisions about policies, practices, programs, and budgets.
Also see: Tools and resources
Reducing Disparities Through Indigenous Social Work Education (PDF - 187 KB)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (2020)
Provides inclusive information on education that integrates indigenous knowledge into social work education to support culturally responsive child welfare.
Strategies to Reduce Racially Disparate Outcomes in Child Welfare: A National Scan (PDF - 3,277 KB)
Miller & Esenstad (2015)
Center for the Study of Social Policy, Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare
Discusses the results of a survey about effective practices for reducing disparities in child welfare.
Advancing Healthy Outcomes: Eight Ways to Promote the Health and Well-Being of LGBTQ+ Youth Involved With Child Welfare Through FFPSA (PDF - 4,649 KB)
Citrin & Martin (2019)
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Outlines eight specific strategies that can be implemented in light of the Family First Prevention Services Act to address disproportionalities and disparities for LGBTQ+ children and families in the child welfare system.
LGBTQ Youth in the Foster Care System (PDF - 447 KB)
Human Rights Campaign & FosterClub (2015)
Provides information on the disproportionality of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning) youth in the child welfare system and the disparate treatment and outcomes they experience. The report specifically highlights strategies that policymakers, agency administrators, child welfare professionals, current foster parents, and other caring adults can take to make improvements.
LGBTQ+ Youth and Families and Race Equity: Disparities and Disproportionalities in Child Welfare and Other Systems of Care [Webinar]
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (2019)
Details the importance of discussing LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning and those for whom these labels do not accurately describe their sexual orientation or gender identity) youth in child welfare in relationship to race equity work and provides recommended practices for working with LGBTQ+ youth and families.
Supporting LGBTQ Youth and Parents in Child Welfare Systems [Video]
Human Rights Campaign (2019)
Focuses on how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth are at high risk for entering foster care and describes the importance of child welfare professionals understanding how to support the safety of LGBTQ youth. Policy and practice reform are mentioned as being necessary to improve the child welfare system for LGBTQ youth.
Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit and LGBTQ Justice in Indian Country (PDF - 7,762 KB)
Edmo & Ridings (Eds.) (2017)
National LGBTQ Task Force
Explains and provides examples of Tribal codes and resolutions that promote nondiscrimination of people who are Two Spirit and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning) within various health, education, justice, and human services domains. Child welfare and adoption is specifically mentioned on pages 69–78.