Research indicates that 23% of the children in foster care are African American although they make up less than 14% of the total U.S. population. Source.
Minnesota’s African American youth are removed from their homes at an alarming rate and a large number are crossing over from child protection into the juvenile justice system. Racial disparities are found in the entire process; from initial reporting, screening and assessment to discharge from the system.
African American children are over 3 times more likely than their white counterparts to be reported to child protection
In face of the same or less egregious allegations; African American and children of 2 or more races are removed from their home at a rate 3.1- 5.8 times higher than their white counterparts
60% of cases involving African American children are assigned to the family investigation path for discretionary reasons compared to 39 % for Caucasian children
The family investigation track is more punitive, may involve the court and/or place a maltreatment finding on African American parents. This finding can cause a loss of employment, housing and increases the families’ likelihood of further child protection involvement
The rights of African American parents are terminated at higher rates. African American children are 3-5 times more likely than White children to become a state ward
African American children are least likely to be adopted before the age of 18
African American children are the highest population of children moving from child protection to juvenile detention
Mandated Reporters make the majority of reports to local agencies. School personnel are among the highest reporters and current data shows that they disproportionately report African American students and families to child protection, for reasons that white families are not.
A 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.
White families, with similar or more egregious allegations are more likely to receive services that allow their children to remain in the home, while families of color are more likely to have their children placed in out of home care.
Research demonstrates that once these children are in the custody of their states, they remain in these systems for much longer than Caucasian children. 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 management 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.