Screening Children of Color Into Child Protection
Since 2015 the percentage of maltreatment reports being screened into child protection has risen from 27% to 49%, compared to a national average of 59%, adding approximately 15,000 more children to the system annually.
Some leaders in communities of color are concerned that this increase means child protection is now screening in families who aren’t actually abusing or neglecting their children, while still missing some that are.
But pinpointing where racial bias is occurring and determining how to address it will take more information than currently exists, because about 2,000 caseworkers statewide are making decisions at numerous steps in the process.
Getting this data will require statewide standards, robust training, quality reviews, and transparent reporting. This infrastructure is a necessary step towards establishing confidence in the system within these communities.