New methodology: Measuring racial or ethnic disparities in child welfare
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Understanding the disparate treatment of African American children in the child welfare system requires consideration of the dynamics at a community level and the state level. Looking across a state allows one to target policies and practices to areas within the state that are most in need. This paper argues for a new method of assessing disparate treatment in child welfare that takes into consideration the racial or ethnic makeup of the community in conjunction with the racial or ethnic makeup across the state. This paper uses decision based enumeration which helps to pinpoint decisions where disparities are the greatest, and helps target decisions that most impact disparate treatment. This paper utilizes a methodology that is both accessible to state and county child welfare administrators and utilizes data that is readily available to child welfare policy makers and administrators. Using data from Illinois to illustrate this methodology, this paper highlights the regions within the state where limited resources may be targeted to address disproportionate representation and disparate treatment in Illinois’ child welfare system.
Subjectracial or ethnic disparity
foster care outcomes