New Report Maps Strategies for Disrupting Racism in Child Welfare

CNN’s Nicquel Terry Ellis to moderate panel discussion this Thursday

Contact: Camilla Jenkins,
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(New York, NY) – Today national child advocacy organization Children’s Rights released Fighting Institutional Racism at the Front End of Child Welfare Systems, a new report that describes how institutional racism contributes to the disproportionate involvement of Black children and families with child welfare systems and outlines nine strategies to disrupt the unnecessary surveillance, investigation, and separation of Black families. A summary of the report is available here.

Black children are overrepresented in most state foster care systems around the country and institutional racism is a root cause of the unnecessary separation of Black families. Black families are almost twice as likely to be screened for maternal drug use or investigated for child abuse or neglect compared to white families, and the parental rights of Black parents are terminated at higher rates than those of white parents.

“The unjust separation of Black children from their families causes lasting harm to their development and well-being and is part of a broader legacy of institutional racism that shapes our society,” said Shereen White, Senior Staff Attorney at Children’s Rights. “The consequences of poverty and economic injustice are too often conflated with mistreatment and neglect, leading to extreme scrutiny of Black parents and the disproportionate removal of Black children from their homes. Black families in crisis need support, not punishment and discrimination. Ending racism in child welfare is among the most urgent civil rights battles of our time.”

The report release will be accompanied by a virtual panel discussion on Thursday, May 27 at 4:00 pm ET with child welfare advocates and experts moderated by Nicquel Terry Ellis, Senior Writer for Race and Equality at CNN. Panelists will discuss the history and growing movement for change in how our child welfare system treats Black children and families and the steps needed to disrupt racism in foster care.


About Children’s Rights: Every day, children are harmed in America’s broken child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and healthcare systems. Through relentless strategic advocacy and legal action, we hold governments accountable for keeping kids safe and healthy. Children’s Rights, a national non-profit organization, has made a lasting impact for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children. For more information, please visit