During the summer of 2020, amidst the nationwide uprising against police brutality and systemic racism, the Alliance for Children’s Rights launched an initiative focused on addressing the racial inequities in child welfare.
At its best, the child welfare system is a social safety net, vital to children and families in crisis. Yet from its founding, embedded racism and bias have led to inequity, injustice, and harmful outcomes for children of color. In California, about half of Black children and Native American children experience a maltreatment investigation before the age of 18. Children of color are less likely than White children to find stable families through reunification, adoption, and guardianship.
In the past year, the Alliance has collaborated with advocates, court officers, child welfare agency staff members, service providers, and people directly impacted by the system to develop and refine recommendations for building an equitable, just, and family-centered system.
Our newest resource, the Path to Racial Equity in Child Welfare provides recommendations and offers a blueprint for reform. Created in coalition with our trusted partners, the report highlights the voices of individuals most impacted by the system, and focuses on the following:
- Valuing family and community through prevention strategies aimed at avoiding maltreatment from occurring and halting all unnecessary separations of children and parents.
- Addressing the power imbalance between families and the child welfare system.
- Empowering the family network and connect youth to their community if and when removing a child from their home is necessary and appropriate.
- Prioritizing family—and community-centered pathways to reunification.
The Alliance is advocating for reforms to the child welfare system—and we want you to join us.