Many studies have looked at whether a child’s or family’s race influences the decisions child welfare professionals make. While some earlier studies have shown conflicting results, most of the larger, national-level studies show that race is related to professionals’ decision making at almost every stage of a child’s movement through the child protection system. It is the African American Adoption & Permanency Planning Agency’s (AAAPPA) position that much of the disproportionality is due to the structural racism created by child welfare practices and policies.
In response, AAAPPA proposes an expansion of its programs and services in the following three areas: Community Education, Family Group Decision Making and Therapeutic Services – all focusing on keeping African American children safe within their own family systems. The A Community Caring for its Children program is a project that is focused on a new and different way of thinking about service delivery to families at-risk for becoming involved, and who are currently, in the child protection system. Drawing on the resources of the extended family system, this project is designed to increase family connections to not only reduce the number of children removed from their homes, but to reduce the amount of time children in out-of-home placement spent in transition.