Michigan creates task force to address racial disparities in state’s foster care
State of Michigan announces new action to address racial imbalances in child protection systems
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (02/16/2021) - The state of Michigan is announcing new action to address racial imbalances in child protection systems.
The State Health Department says a new task force will tackle the issue.
In Mid-Michigan, one child care agency says this is a welcome step forward and hopes this will now spark change.
The State Health Department says children of color enter foster care at higher rates than their white peers and are more likely to end up in institutional facilities rather than family homes.
The department says that’s a problem it is preparing to tackle.
“For the state, I think that this is a very positive move forward, and I think that it is going to have long-lasting, beneficial impact for the children of color that are currently in care, and hopefully it will provide a system and a mechanism, so that there are not as many children of color that are in the foster care system,” Claudnyse D. Holloman said. Holloman is the CEO of Voices for Children in Flint-
According to that number, 16% of children in Michigan are Black but also make up 29% of the state’s foster care population. The state says 31% of children in Michigan are children of color, also making up 51% of the foster care population.
Holloman sees first-hand how the system can have a harmful impact on children of color, including their health, behavior, and welfare.
”The child needs to have hope and make sure that we are being intentional about providing whatever is necessary for that kid to have a great childhood,” Holloman said.
For that to happen, she says the system needs fundamental changes, including adding services like parenting classes and housing assistance.
”It is only not only going to provide services for what’s happening now, but also to prevent, and that is the critical piece. If we can prevent by having these critical and crucial conversations, then we radically decrease the number of children that are in case and in service overall,” Holloman said.
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