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Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare

The Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare provides national leadership in support of improved outcomes for children and families of color involved with the nation’s child welfare system. In many jurisdictions, outcomes for children and families of color who are served by the child welfare system are not what the families, child welfare administrators or policymakers would want them to be. The Alliance is committed to taking action to improve these outcomes in the context of our underlying commitment to improve outcomes for all children and families receiving child welfare services.

Child welfare professionals and researchers have documented a pattern of disparities in the experiences and outcomes for children and families of color. For example, African American and Native American children are more likely than their counterparts to be removed from their families and placed in foster care, remain in care longer and are less likely to exit foster care through reunification or other forms of permanency. While not revealed in national level data, similar patterns are revealed for Latino children and families in a growing number of states and local communities. The Alliance remains committed to supporting child welfare systems and other community partners to ensure children and families of color achieve equitable opportunities, experiences and outcomes.

The Alliance is guided by a coalition of national organizations, state and local leaders, judges, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, advocates, parents, as well as alumni and youth who have directly experienced the child welfare system. Through this national network of committed partners, the Alliance engages a broad cross-section of organizations, agencies and systems that touch the lives of children and families involved with child welfare. 

Since its formation in 2004, the Alliance has assisted in raising the visibility of equity issues in child welfare. These efforts have included direct consultation with state and local child welfare agencies to test innovative strategies, analysis and reporting on current research about the nature, causes and consequences of racial disparities in child welfare and the development of data tools to enable jurisdictions to better track their progress in achieving better outcomes. Reflecting a fundamental Alliance value, each of these efforts has been directly informed and shaped by youth, parents and other family members with direct experience with the child welfare system.

The coalition of national Alliance partners includes several organizations and a host of individuals with a shared commitment to further understanding the complex factors that shape outcomes for children and families of color, as well as sharing information about the policies, system strategies and community initiatives that lead to good outcomes. Managed by CSSP, Alliance organizational partners include the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, National Indian Child Welfare Association, Children’s Defense Fund, Child Trends and First Focus. Click here for a full list of Alliance members. 

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Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare

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Special Focus on the Experiences of African American Males

CSSP and the Alliance are taking a closer look at the experiences of African American males who become involved with the child welfare system, including system strategies and interventions that promote improved social and emotional well-being.

Alliance's Leadership & Action Agenda Goals

  • Deepening the field’s understanding and knowledge of the causes and consequences of current outcomes for children and families of color in the child welfare system
  • Identifying, lifting up and promoting programs, policies, strategies and conditions that improve those outcomes
  • Advancing a national policy agenda focused on improving access to supportive resources and responsive systems, resulting in improved outcomes for children and families of color
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