Children & Youth of Color

For additional information, visit our Hot Topic pages on Indian child welfare issues, Latino child welfare issues, immigration and child welfare, and the disproportionate representation of children and youth of color in the child welfare system.

Resources & Publications

  • Understanding Race-Based Institutional Inequities
    In child welfare systems across the country, children of color - particularly African American and Native American children - are overrepresented and more likely to be removed from their homes or have longer stays in foster care. To understand and address this inequity, CSSP developed the Institutional Analysis. This set of qualitative diagnostic tools uses ethnographic data collection and analysis to look at the gap between what a child, youth or their family needs to be safe and how a public system is designed to help them. The goal is to look at the organizationalcontributors to poor outcomes for children of color.
  • Child Welfare Practice: Creating a Successful Climate for Change
    Since 2006, CSSP has been conducting Institutional Analyses in jurisdictions trying to improve poor outcomes for children and families of color. The most recent - Child Welfare Practice: Creating a Successful Climate for Change - was in Los Angeles County, where many of the African American children and youth in its child welfare system are not reunified with their parents or found timely, permanent homes. As part of a federally-supported initiative to develop and test approaches for improving the well-being of foster children, Los Angeles County asked to have an Institutional Analysis conducted in three county offices to look closely at their policies and practices. The findings from each Institutional Analysis are used by jurisdictions to build understanding about problematic institutional features and to develop a platform for action. Los Angeles, with input from the community, is currently developing its own plan to address the recommendations made by the report. (September 2012)
  • African American Males in Foster Care and the Risk of Delinquency 
    In this issue of Child Welfare League of America’s newsletter, The Link, an article is included summarizing several key findings from a study on the importance of attachment, commitment, and perceptions of permanence for African American males in foster care. (Winter 2006)

Trainings & Curricula

  • Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare in the Context of Cultural Competence
    Developed by the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work, this online learning workshop provides information presented at a series of talks, panels, and small group discussion on June 11, 2007 at the University around culturally competent evidence-based practice in child welfare.  This self-guided series contains six modules that may be helpful in informing professionals working with children and youth of color involved in the child-welfare system.
  • Hair and Skin Care for African American and Biracial Children
    This online curriculum from the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program provides information on skin and hair care for African American/Black/Caribbean American and biracial babies and children in care, including information about appropriate products and tools, as well as steps to various styling techniques.


  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
    The Child Welfare Information Gateway website, a service of the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers resources and information on various child welfare issues.  Their website includes the following pages pertaining to children and youth of color involved in the child welfare system:
  • Adoption and Foster Care Statistics (AFCARS)
    The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) collects case-level information on all children in foster care and children who have been adopted with title IV-E agency involvement.  AFCARS reports on demographic information, including race and ethnicity, age, sex, placement settings, case goals, and time in care.


Last updated 4/3/13