The Racial Disproportionality Movement in Child Welfare: False Facts and Dangerous Directions

A powerful coalition has made “Racial Disproportionality” the central issue in child welfare today. It notes that black children represent a larger percentage of the foster care population than they do of the general population. It claims this is caused by racial discrimination and calls for reducing the number of black children removed to foster care. But the central question is whether black children are disproportionately victimized by maltreatment. Society should act to prevent the disproportionate maltreatment of black children, and provide greater support to families at risk of falling into the dysfunction that results in maltreatment. This should result in a reduction in the number of black children in foster care, without putting them at undue risk.