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February/March 2002Vol. 3, No. 2Call for Materials on Racial and Ethnic Disproportionalities in the Child Welfare System

A project funded by the Children's Bureau is seeking input from writers and researchers whose work focuses on racial and ethnic disproportionalities in the child welfare system.

The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago is implementing the project in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The aim is to identify people who are doing work in the area of racial and ethnic disproportionality in the child welfare system, commission papers from those doing promising work, and convene a meeting in fall 2002 to review findings.

The project is the third in a series whose overall purpose is to clarify and expand the current knowledge base in the field. The first project in the series was a review of published literature on racial disproportionalities to explore the scope of the issue. In reviewing the literature, there was an examination of possible differences due to geographic, income, and community factors, as well as differences at various decision-making points in the system (i.e., reporting, investigation, placement, etc.).

The second project was an examination of programs that were looking at racial and ethnic disproportionalities, and a qualitative examination at how communities approached and dealt with the issue.

With AIR, Chapin Hall is developing a database of research pertaining to racial disproportionality in the child welfare system. The Children's Bureau wants to collect evidence related to racial disproportionality for each racial and ethnic group at each decision point in the child welfare system as well as determine whether there are broader lessons that can be applied to the field.


Darcy Hughes, Research Assistant
Chapin Hall Center for Children
1313 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 773-256-5215

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