Michigan s child welfare system
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Michigan’s Child Welfare System. Why is Overrepresentation a Critical Issue?. Overrepresentation: General label for both racial disproportionality and racial disparity.

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Michigan s child welfare system

Michigan’s Child Welfare System

Why is Overrepresentation

a Critical Issue?


Overrepresentation general label for both racial disproportionality and racial disparity
Overrepresentation: General label for both racial disproportionality and racial disparity

  • Racial Disproportionality - A situation where racial minorities occur in the child welfare population at rates higher than the occurrence in general population

  • Racial Disparity - Occurs when the rate of disproportionality of one racial group, (e.g., African Americans) exceeds that of a comparison group (e.g., White Americans)


High stakes
High Stakes

  • 600,000 Children in Foster Care

  • Reason for Placement

    • Neglect 65%

    • Abuse 25%

  • Almost 50% of Children in care are 11 Years or older

  • Native American Youth have the highest suicide rate of any group of youth in the U.S.


Michigan s child welfare system


The picture for older youth
The Picture for Older Youth median number of placements is

  • Generally teens who ‘age out’ of care entered as teens

    OUTCOMES(?)

  • 50% graduated from High School or have a GED (85% of all youth between 18 - 24 have graduated/GED)

  • 25% endured a period of homelessness

  • 70% have not maintained a job for a year

  • One in four Males and one in ten Females have spent time in jail


Wayne county s picture
Wayne County’s Picture median number of placements is

  • 2,310 youth in care are 14 and older

    • 13 y/o 503

    • 14 y/o 548

    • 15 y/o 478

    • 16 y/o 466

    • 17 y/o 397

    • 18 y/o 264

    • 19 and older 157


Wayne county s picture1
Wayne County’s Picture median number of placements is

  • 1,971 of the older youth in care are African American

  • 4 American Indian/Alaskan Native

  • 307 White

  • 45 have Hispanic ethnicity

  • 1,200 Female

  • 1,090 Male


Wayne county s picture2
Wayne County’s Picture median number of placements is

429 Currently in a Foster Home

381 in a Private Child Placing Institution

74 in a Public Shelter

591 in Relative Home


Michigan s picture
Michigan’s Picture median number of placements is


What are the contributing issues cssp survey
What are the Contributing Issues median number of placements is (CSSP Survey)

  • Confusion between poverty and neglect

  • System inability to educate public & partners on abuse, neglect in a context of cultural issues

  • Substance use & mental health services and housing

  • Not enough prevention and family preservation in neighborhoods


Contributing issues continued
Contributing Issues continued median number of placements is

  • Lack of well-trained Gatekeepers -

    • What assumptions/biases are operative? (color “blindness’ leads to to biased ‘lens’ and treatment)

  • Culturally competent staff

    • Training

    • Supervision

  • Historic lack of trust of the system on the part of minority communities

  • Cultural biases at key decision points

  • State management disproportionally white


Contributing issues continued1
Contributing Issues continued median number of placements is

  • Resources

  • Individual perception, denial of racism within system

  • Defensiveness about issues makes it difficult to discuss

  • Lack of data about effectiveness of all services, including foster care

  • Not giving parents and youth a voice

  • No accountability for system outcomes

  • Connection between neglect, foster care, juvenile justice


Where do we go from here

Where Do We Go From Here? median number of placements is