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Race Matters: Synthesis of Research Findings Robert B. Hill, Ph. D. Disproportionality Teleconference May 24, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Race Matters: Synthesis of Research Findings Robert B. Hill, Ph. D. Disproportionality Teleconference May 24, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Race Matters: Synthesis of Research Findings Robert B. Hill, Ph. D. Disproportionality Teleconference May 24, 2005

2 Overrepresentation by Race/Ethnic Group in U. S. Race/Ethnicity: Non-Latino, White African American Latino American Indians Asian/Pacific Islander Rates of Disproportionality

3 Black Overrepresentation: Key Explanations 1. Not a Problem: Those who believe myth that Black families have higher rates of child abuse and neglect than White families 2. Class Bias: It results from higher rates of poverty among Blacks—not because of race. 3. Systemic Bias: NIS findings suggest it is due to racially different treatment at various stages of decision-making processes of child welfare system

4 Increasing Significance of Systemic Racism 1. Policies and practices that have disparate adverse effects on people of color 2. Overt to Covert Treatment 3. Conscious to Unconscious Bias 4. Intentional to Unintentional Bias 5. Structural (or Systemic) Discrimination 6. Manifested by Cultural Insensitivity

5 Anomalies of Child Welfare 1. Most children are placed in foster care for neglect or for reasons related to poverty 2. Physically or sexually abused children more likely to receive services in the home 3. Many youth aging out of foster care return to their parents or extended families 4. Youth who age out are overrepresented among the homeless, drug addicts, delinquents, and criminals

6 Impact of Other Institutions 1. Mental Health: Inequitable treatment due to unconscious (or conscious) racism. 2. Blacks diagnosed as more aggressive 3. Schools: More Black youth detained, suspended, expelled and in special ed. 4. Juvenile Justice: More Blacks arrested, charged, tried as adults, and incarcerated

7 Decision-Making Processes: Racially Disparate Effects 1. Reporting: Hospitals report Blacks more than Whites for child abuse and neglect 2. More Black than White women reported for newborns testing positive for drugs 3. Investigation: Few racial differentials 4. Substantiation: Higher rates of substantiations for Blacks than Whites

8 Placement in Foster Care 1. Black children (56%) are twice as likely to be placed in foster care (FC) than Whites (28%) 2. Even when Black families have positive traits, Blacks are still placed more in FC than Whites 3. Black children are less likely than White children to be reunified with parents 4. Blacks are more likely to remain in foster care for much longer periods than Whites

9 Kinship Care 1. Black children (29%) more likely to be with kin caregivers as White children (14%) 2. Prior to 1980’s, few kin foster parents 3. After 1986: Crack Cocaine & HIV/AIDS 4. Kin Caregivers: older, poor, on TANF and receive lower foster care stipends than non-kin 5. Kin receive fewer services than non-kin 6. But lowest rates of child abuse are in kin care

10 Implications Need to place higher priority on family preservation and reunification Need to provide more equitable financial and social support to kin caregivers Need federal subsidized guardianship law Need to mandate states to reduce minority overrepresentation in child welfare


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