Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kansas Takes on Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare

An op-ed in the Wichita Eagle by Melody McCray-Miller, Democratic state representative, urges action:
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said it best: "Kansas must determine what is necessary to reduce the overrepresentation of African-American and Latino children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems." Sebelius named Don Jordan, chairman of her subcabinet and secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, to lead an initiative on this disproportion and work closely with...legislative and community leaders. ... Although youths and families of color are disproportionately of low wealth, by sheer numbers there are more whites who are poor in the Kansas population. Yet children of color, specifically African-American children, enter the child-welfare system at three times their rate in the general population. Overrepresentation also exists in the juvenile justice system. ... As we move forward on this initiative, we must keep in mind the goal of "fair treatment for Kansas children." We can't afford to fall short. We've got to go the distance on this one.
For more information on policies to achieve racial equity in child welfare.

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