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Oregon and the National Context: Moving Toward Equity


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by Susan Kelly , Casey Family Programs, Systems Improvement, Strategic Consulting

Published in: Spiritual
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Oregon and the National Context: Moving Toward Equity

  1. 1. Oregon and the National Context: Moving Toward Equity Susan Kelly Casey Family Programs Systems Improvement, Strategic Consulting Oregon Child Welfare Task Force on Racial Equity Wednesday, May 20, 2009 Salem, Oregon
  2. 2. 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)
  3. 3. Minority children compromise 40% of all children in the United States. However, 50% of children in foster care are minorities. •  Blacks and American Indians are the two most overrepresented groups and they are represented in foster care at twice their proportions in the census populations. 3
  4. 4. Overrepresentation by Race/Ethnic Groups in U.S. Rates of Disproportionality Race/Ethnicity •  Non-Latino, White •  .76 •  African American •  2.43 •  Latino •  .79 •  Native American •  2.16 •  Asia/Pacific Islander •  .39
  5. 5. National Data Who is in care? How are they doing? 5
  6. 6. The High Stakes for Older Youth in Care •  Almost 800,000 in substitute care overall. •  Reasons for entering care: ü  Neglect 65% (varies by jurisdiction) ü  Abuse 35% (varies) •  Fifty percent of children in care are 11 years or older. •  In 2005, 48% of teenagers who entered care were not placed with family. 6
  7. 7. Education Status of Youth in Foster Care •  High school graduation = <50% •  Receive special education services = +/-30% •  Seven or more school changes = 65% •  College enrollment rate = +/-10%? •  4 year college completion rate =2%/4%? 7
  8. 8. The Human Cost Gets Much Higher for Older Youth •  50% graduate from high school compared to 85% of all youth between ages of 18-24. •  25% endured a period of homelessness. •  70% have not maintained a job for one year. •  One in 4 males, 1 in 10 females have spent time in jail
  9. 9. Oregon Data •  Total rate of children out of home (per 1000 children in general population) = 12.5 •  White children = 9.4 •  African American children = 41.7 •  Hispanic/Latino = 9.5 •  American Indian/Alaskan Native = 93.4
  10. 10. Racial Justice in Child Welfare Definition •  Racial justice is the creation and proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all. Indicators •  Equitable impacts and outcomes of child welfare policy and practice across race/ethnic groups is the evidence of racial justice. This includes child welfare intervention, service delivery and subsequent follow-up. Note: These ideas adapted from the work and ideas developed by Terry Keleher and the Applied Research Center. 10 Casey Family Programs
  11. 11. Racial Justice in Child Welfare Related Values and Key Ideas •  Equity / Equitable outcomes for children and families •  Inclusion / Accessibility •  Equal opportunity •  Dignity / Human rights / Rights of children and families •  Fairness / Fair treatment of children and families •  Shared power and resources / Note: These ideas adapted from the work and ideas developed by Terry Keleher and the Applied Research Center. 11 Casey Family Programs
  12. 12. Racial Justice in Child Welfare Racial Justice ≠ Diversity (Diversity = Variety) Racial Justice ≠ Equality (Equality = Sameness) Racial Justice = Equity (Equity = Fairness, Justice) Note: These ideas adapted from the work and ideas developed by Terry Keleher and the Applied Research Center. 12 Casey Family Programs
  13. 13. Racial Justice in Child Welfare Strategy for Change •  Focuses on changing systems, institutional practices, policies and outcomes. •  Individual-level focus must be within the context of systems and institutions… how individuals function within this context. •  Cannot just be reactive… must propose equitable solutions and engage in proactive strategies. •  Requires ongoing consciousness and strategic action. We cannot be “colorblind” or silent. Note: These ideas adapted from the work and ideas developed by Terry Keleher and the Applied Research Center. 13 Casey Family Programs
  14. 14. It’s All in the Eyes (I’s) Narrow View of Racism Comprehensive View of Racism Racism is only… Racism is often… Individual bias Institutional inequity Intentional acts Impacts of actions Isolated incidents Infused throughout society Immediate and obvious Invisible and insidious In the past In the present Note: These ideas adapted from the work and ideas developed by Terry Keleher and the Applied Research Center. 14 Casey Family Programs
  15. 15. Racial Equity Lens in Child Welfare •  We tend to engage in debate about the meaning and existence of racism. •  We need to shift the popular understanding of racism from personal prejudice exclusively to institutional inequality more broadly. •  We need to illuminate racial inequities in child welfare in order to eliminate racial inequities in child welfare. Note: These ideas adapted from the work and ideas developed by Terry Keleher and the Applied Research Center. 15 Casey Family Programs
  16. 16. A Closer Look at the Work Building Awareness and Understanding –  Use of data (the numbers and the stories) –  Engagement of alumni and birth parents –  Being aware of the Crosswalk to Juvenile Justice –  Agency presentations and discussion forums –  Community forums 16 Casey Family Programs
  17. 17. A Closer Look at the Work Agency policies, protocols and procedures –  Racial equity approach toward contract agency accountability –  Budget equity –  Family/youth Inclusion in decision making _ Data-driven management practices –  Statewide disproportionality strategy 17 Casey Family Programs
  18. 18. A Closer Look at the Work Child Welfare( juvenile justice) practice and decision making –  Identification and engagement of extended family support networks / kinship resources / especially paternal relatives –  “Teaming” and “family engagement” approaches to case planning and decision making –  Placement decisions “least restrictive” _ Parent/youth advocate programs –  Efforts to divert families/youth to support resources 18 Casey Family Programs
  19. 19. A Closer Look at the Work Workforce Development –  Employee Skills & Professional Development –  Performance Assessment and Evaluation –  Agency-University partnerships Available Resources –  Video: History of the US Child Welfare System and Disproportionality –  Video: Race… The Power of an Illusion –  Knowing Who You Are (video and e-learning) –  Undoing Racism Workshop 19 Casey Family Programs
  20. 20. A Closer Look at the Work The role of judges, courts, and the broader legal system –  Critical role in decision making –  Reasonable efforts –  Evidence and documentation of diligent efforts by caseworkers and supervisors –  Racial equity and potential bias in legal representation for children and families –  Partnerships in Model Courts sites –  CASA-related work efforts 20 Casey Family Programs
  21. 21. Judicial Engagement: Themes from Major Work Efforts and Discussions •  Listening to the Voice of Youth and Families –  Importance of listening directly to youth and families in the professionalized context of “represented parties” –  Opportunities for “straight talk” with youth and families in the judge’s chambers –  What is their perspective on their needs, challenges, interests and services most likely to be responsive? –  What is their assessment of the effectiveness and responsiveness of services and service providers made 21 accessible to them? Casey Family Programs
  22. 22. Promising Initiatives •  CCC, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges: Revising the Bench card •  Oregon: Statewide Taskforce: Decision Point Analysis: Portland State •  Kentucky, Michigan, Washington State: Parent Partners •  Colorado: State Disparities Center: AHA •  Woodbury County, Iowa; Race equity scorecard •  Denver Indian Family Resource Center •  Michigan: External Analysis, center for parent representation
  23. 23. Promising Initiatives (cont.) •  Texas: disproportionality coordinators(regionally assigned) •  Kansas: Governor ‘s Taskforce •  Minnesota: legislation to study, remedy and report •  California: external analysis, regional coordinators •  Iowa: state Indian Child Welfare Act •  New York: State Taskforce •  CSSP/Casey Alliance •  Black Administrators in Child Welfare/Casey partnership
  24. 24. What will it matter that we have talked together? Adam
  25. 25. No less than we would want for our own children.
  26. 26. Online Resources: Casey Family Programs: Casey Family Programs Breakthrough Series Collaborative: Publication: Outcomes and Lessons Learned: Casey’s Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Reducing Disproportionality and Disparities for Children and Families of Color in the Child Welfare System 26 Casey Family Programs
  27. 27. Contact Information: Susan Kelly Senior Director, Strategic Consulting Casey Family Programs Phone: (734) 547- 9164 Email: 27 Casey Family Programs