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

Children identified as two or more races were placed in out of home care at a rate 4.8 times higher than white children

The rights of AA parents are terminated at higher rates. 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. 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.

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