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September/October 2011Vol. 12, No. 7State-by-State Disproportionality Rates

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has produced a technical assistance bulletin that provides data on racial disproportionality in the child welfare system of each State and of 21 city or county jurisdictions. Racial disproportionality occurs when the percentage of children of a particular race or ethnicity in the child welfare system differs from that percentage in a State's general population. African-American children and Native American children have been represented disproportionately in the child welfare system for some time, and Hispanic children are disproportionately represented in some States.

Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care presents national and State data for each State for 2004 and 2009 and then presents more detailed data for each State for 2009, including a race/ethnicity breakdown of the children in foster care and the State's racial disproportionality index. Although the trend shows a reduction in racial disproportionality in foster care, the data indicate that African-Americans and Native Americans continue to be overrepresented.

The technical bulletin, written by Joshua Padilla and Alicia Summers, is available on the NCJFCJ website: (2.38 MB)