Child Welfare League of America

Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare: A Special Issue of Child Welfare Journal

Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare: A Special Issue of Child Welfare Journal African American children are overrepresented in this country's child welfare system through each decision point, and their outcomes in the system are very different than the outcomes are for white children. The purpose of this special issue is to increase understanding of disproportionality and disparity of outcomes and to increase awareness of a variety of approaches to prevent, reduce, or eliminate disproportionality and disparity of outcomes in a variety of systems. The first section is devoted to articles that provide in-depth analyses of a variety of issues related to disproportionality, and the second section is devoted to promising practices seen in systems currently addressing disproportionality. Finally, an overview from Canada concerning their issues of disproportional representation for aboriginal and other visible minority child populations in their child protection system is included. The articles in this journal are each thought-provoking yet reflect one interweaving plea: a call to make the child welfare system fair for all children and families. They are assembled in hope that this journal will have broad usefulness; offer solutions; encourage systems to provide accurate data; inspire further research; implore legislative changes; influence the implementation of systemic, institutional, and practice changes; and promote continuous improvement.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Disproportionality in Child Welfare


  • Measuring Racial Disparity in Child Welfare
  • Deconstructing Disproportionality: Views From Multiple Community Stakeholders
  • Visible Minority, Aboriginal, and Caucasian Children Investigated by Canadian Protective Services
  • Connective Complexity: African American Adolescents and the Relational Context of Kinship Foster Care
  • The Role of Faith in Adoption: Achieving Positive Adoption Outcomes for African American Children
  • The Racial Geography of Child Welfare: Toward a New Research Paradigm
  • The Intersection of Race, Poverty, and Risk: Understanding the Decision to Provide Services to Clients and to Remove Children
  • Children Ever in Care: An Examination of Cumulative Disproportionality
  • The Benefits of Life Table Analysis for Describing Disproportionality


  • Acknowledging Disproportionate Outcomes and Changing Service Delivery
  • Emerging Strategies for Reducing Racial Disproportionality and Disparate Outcomes in Child Welfare: The Results of a National Breakthrough Series Collaborative
  • Evaluating Multisystemic Efforts to Impact Disproportionality Through Key Decision Points
  • Addressing the Disproportionate Representation of Children of Color: A Collaborative Community Approach
  • Addressing Disproportionality Through Undoing Racism, Leadership Development, and Community Engagement
  • Comparative Analysis of Two Community-Based Efforts Designed to Impact Disproportionality
  • Taking Action on Racial Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System
  • Point of Engagement: Reducing Disproportionality and Improving Child and Family Outcomes
  • Gaps in Research and Public Policies

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    CWLA Stock Number: J872
    Publication Date: 2008