• November 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 10

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Children of Color and Disproportionality in Foster Care

A recently published bulletin from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) uses the latest data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and 2010 census data to examine national- and State-level disproportionality rates for children of color in foster care. Nationwide data show that children of color are consistently represented in foster care at disproportionate rates, and these data can vary by State and even by county. For example, African-American and Native American children tend to be represented at higher rates than other child populations in most States, while some States exhibit a higher proportion of Hispanic/Latino children.

The bulletin also compares data on disproportionality rates from 2000 with data from 2012 to examine how rates have changed over time. Results indicate that overall disproportionality rates among African-American children decreased from 2.5 times the rate of the general population to 2 times the rate; the rate among Native American children increased from 1.5 to 2.4; and the overrepresentation of Hispanic/Latino children occurred in seven States in 2000 but in only five States as of 2012. The changes observed during these 12 years also varied by State, with some States reducing their disproportionality rates while others experienced rate increases; some States remained relatively consistent over the years, and others had rates change mainly for certain populations.

This bulletin is part of NCJFCJ's Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care Technical Assistance Bulletins series, which it has published since 2011. To learn more and to download this bulletin, visit the NCJFCJ website:

Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care (Fiscal Year 2012) Technical Assistance Bulletin:


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