• June 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 6

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African-American Males in Child Welfare

According to data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), African-American males are more than twice as likely to be in foster care as their peers of other races, and the percentage of African-American males who age out of care almost doubled between 2001 and 2010 (from 7 percent to 13 percent). A recent report from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), Changing Course: Improving Outcomes for African American Males Involved With Child Welfare Systems, reviews the current data and literature about African-American males involved with child welfare, outlines an approach to improve their outcomes, and makes recommendations for immediate action.

The following are examples of actions outlined in the report that can be taken by child welfare agencies and their partners:

  • Establishing an organizational commitment to race equity
  • Understanding and responding to the ways in which structural racism can shape the experiences and well-being of African-American males
  • Implementing developmentally appropriate practice that is trauma-informed and utilizes protective and promotive factors to help youth
  • Creating ways for African-American youth to provide input

Changing Course: Improving Outcomes for African American Males Involved With Child Welfare Systems, by Oronde Miller, Frank Farrow, Judith Meltzer, and Susan Notkin, is available on the CSSP website:

(http://www.cssp.org/publications/child-welfare/alliance/Changing-Course_Improving-Outcomes-for-African-American-Males-Involved-with-Child-Welfare-Systems.pdf (1 MB)

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