Research indicates that 23% of the children in foster care in 2016 were African American although they made up less than 14% of the total U.S. population. Source.
African-American children were placed in out of home care at a rate over 3.1 times higher than white children for the same offenses.
Children identified as two or more races were placed in out of home care at a rate 4.8 times higher than white children for the same offenses.
The rights of AA parents are terminated at higher rates for the same offense as white parents. African American and children of 2 or more races range from between three to five times more likely to become state wards as compared to white children.
In Minnesota, disparities have been shown to exist at EVERY decision point of the child protection process.
1) Reporting: African American children were over five times as likely to be the subject of a neglect report
2) CPS Contact: African American children were four times more likely to be subjects of child protection assessments and investigations, for the same transgressions
3) Out-of-home Placement: African American children were placed in out of home care at a rate 5.3 times higher than white children for the same issues
4) Placement Stability: The longer African American children remained in out-of-home care, the more they experienced multiple moves in placement settings
5) Aging out of Care: African American youth have high rates of reaching the age of majority when in placement for long periods of time
In 2016 Mandated Reporters made the majority of reports to local agencies, at 79.8%. School personnel are among the highest reporters and our current data shows us that they disproportionately report African American students and families facing the same issues as white families. ONE school in the Minneapolis district with a 16% African American student population made 145 calls to cps in 2016, of those calls, 130 were African American students. This is consistent across service systems including medical personnel and law enforcement.
Research demonstrates that once these children are in the custody of their states, they remain in these systems for much longer than Caucasian children do. Once maltreatment has been substantiated, White families are more likely to receive services that allow the children to remain in the home, while families of color are more likely to have their children placed in out-of-home care for the same offenses. Source.
The cost of out-of-home-placement to the state of MN is enormous, as is the monetary cost of the long-term impact on these young people's lives. Costs include facilities for care, payment of foster families, case managment costs, and more. In 2016 the federal government, the State of Minnesota, and the state’s 87 counties spent more than $505 million on child welfare services for Minnesota children alone. View the State Minnesota's 2018 Child Welfare Inventory and Benefit Cost Analysis.