Focused Approach to Reducing Racial Bias

In this TED talk Dr. Jessica Pryce describes using “blind removal committees” in Nassau County, NY to eliminate racial bias in child placement decisions.  

These committees get background on child protection history and safety concerns, while information that could reveal race is hidden.  Consequently, African American children now comprise 21% of foster care placements, down from 57%.

This and other practices recommended by Dr. Pryce are grounded in individual families’ unique situations.  In contrast, Minnesota’s one-size-fits-all approach screens in more black families, then tries to ease the impact of that by diverting nearly 70% of cases to Family Assessment, which requires little of parents and was intended only for low risk cases.  

This has kept children in high risk settings without reducing disparities.

Dr. Pryce’s focused strategies are more promising.

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