This paper was published in January 2008 by the Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare. It draws on studies of data gathered during the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW).
The paper examines child welfare in the context of race and ethnicity. Topics include whether there are racial differences in some of these areas of child welfare services:
- Early childhood development
- Early intervention services
- Mental health
- Substance abuse treatment
- Parental arrests
- Domestic violence
Summary of findings
Even when child need was similar, African American families used fewer services. Other findings suggest the presence of race and ethnicity effects related to:
- African American women served in child welfare reported much higher rates of domestic violence
- Infants and adolescents were the two age groups with the greatest level of reunification rate differences by race
- Parents of African American children placed in out-of-home care were more likely to have experienced a recent arrest
Other differences related to race and ethnicity are not as consistent. The paper calls for more research into how unfair services to African American children and families arise.