Black children are disproportionately represented in the United States foster care system. Following a child maltreatment report, Black families are more than twice as likely to be investigated for child abuse than a white family. When investigated, black children are twice as likely to be placed in out-of-home care, separated from their families and community kinships. Once removed, black children stay in out-of-home care 55% longer than white children.
A participatory community needs assessment conducted from December 2020 to January 2021 revealed that root causes included systemic bias and conditions that perpetuate racial and economic disparities in Black families such as: parental factors (intergenerational family trauma, greater material poverty, higher rates of teen parenthood, substance abuse, and loss of critical support systems for families due to parental incarceration), community factors (cross-cultural differences, lack of community resources available in low income neighborhoods such as daycare and after school programs), interactions with other institutions (police, school, healthcare), and laws and policies that ignore the voices of Black families.
In Hillsborough county, Florida, we want to ensure that Black children are represented at all decision points of the child welfare system. Eckerd Connects is partnering with University of South Florida, to create a Commission on Racial Equity (CRE) that will serve as a racial equity alignment task force that will represent the voices of community-driven organizational leaders and Black parents working together on racial equity in the Tampa, FL metropolitan area.How You Can Help