Racism and historical trauma have negatively impacted Black families involved with the child welfare system. Racism has led to an overrepresentation of children and youth of color in child welfare, and Black families are more likely to experience negative outcomes compared with White families. Use these resources to learn more from States and jurisdictions across the country about what is being done to address racial disparities and find information relating to working with and supporting Black families.
Achieving Equity for African American Children and Families in Minnesota’s Child Welfare System (PDF - 220 KB)
Kamm, Krein, Simon, & Wolff (2020)
Minnesota State University, Department of Social Work
Discusses how Minnesota’s child welfare system implemented provisions of the African American Family Preservation Act to achieve equity for children and families.
Black Children Are Overrepresented in Foster Care: Here’s How We Can Address This Disparity
KVC Kansas (2022)
Explores strategies being used by the Kansas Department for Children and Families to address the overrepresentation of Black children in foster care. The article also recommends strategies child welfare systems can use to address racial inequities.
An Ethnography of African American Parents’ Perceptions About Exiting the Child Welfare System
Examines the perceived barriers experienced by African American families navigating the child welfare system in Michigan.
The History of Racism in Foster Care in Washington State
Washington Fosters (2021)
Describes how children of color have been historically overrepresented in child welfare in Washington State and the impact racism has had on the forced removal of children from their homes.
Keeping African American Families Whole (PDF - 213 KB)
Hennepin County Human Services (2021)
Outlines an approach being used in Hennepin County, MN, to reduce disparities in child welfare and address racism as a public health crisis. The brief describes a family liaison program being piloted to deliver culturally responsive services to Black families involved with the child protection system.
New Courses Added to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Child Welfare
Shares trainings related to working with Black families in child welfare being offered by the Colorado Department of Human Services. The online trainings cover building collaborative relationships with Black communities and organizations; trauma, race, and engagement; and culturally responsive ways of working with Black families.
Racial Justice Requires Improvements to Texas CPS System
Texans Care for Children
Reviews how Black children are vastly overrepresented in the Texas child welfare system and discusses reasons behind the disproportionality and measures the State can take to better address racial injustice and disparities.
Racial Trauma Information and Resources
Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Mental Health Promotion
Shares information and mental health resources related to the trauma caused by racism and how it impacts Black children, families, and communities.
Systems of Trauma: Racial Trauma (PDF - 646 KB)
Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia (2021)
Examines how racial trauma exacerbates trauma from family violence and explores structurally embedded racial inequities, cases of racial trauma, and impacts of racial trauma for African Americans and other groups. The brief also provides recommended strategies professionals can use to mitigate trauma.
Taking a Closer Look at the Reduction in Entry Rates for Children in Sacramento County With an Emphasis on African American Children
Casey Family Programs (2020)
Offers a report that discusses strategies the Sacramento County Child Welfare Agency in California instituted to reduce the rate of African American children entering their foster care system.