Social Injustice

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Social Injustice
Racial disparity in the Child Welfare system

Londone Williams
Justice 497
03/29/2012


As citizens of the United States, we are all entitled the same rights. These rights include for us to be treated fairly and to be allowed to make a life for ourselves, however how can a child make a life for themselves if they are not given the opportunity within the child welfare system? The Child Welfare Reform System was first created as a temporary placement for children in need of assistance however has since become a place where children are stuck indefinitely until the age of eighteen. “The issue of disparity and disproportionality hold particular significance for the field of public child welfare because of its historical and enduring pervasiveness throughout society and evidence of disparate child outcomes.” (Light & Kanaya, 2012) Although these children are being taken from home, which may seem to be in their best interest, there are sociological and psychological factors that need to be taken into consideration. Some children will have to deal with the long term effects of being removed from home, such as attachment issues, amongst many other issues that they may face. The social injustice of the child welfare system is extremely unfair and some of the children who have known foster care as a place they call home when foster care should be no more than a temporary placement. This injustice not only affects the children, but it affects society as a whole. These children are our future adults, our future president, or police officer. As a society, we have to take into consideration, how this will not only affect their future but ours as well. Lastly, we as a whole, have to come together and figure out a solution. Children have a right to be with their parents, and they have a right to have a chance to a better a brighter future. The child welfare system was created by Charles Loring Brace in the mid 1880’s. The child welfare program he created was called the Orphan Train Movement which he created in New York City where homeless children was moved from New York City to the Midwest and beyond. The Child Welfare system has gone through many changes since then. In the 1920’s the Children’s Aid Society was founded in New York which cared for children whose families were too poor to care for them. These children were living below poverty guidelines and in the urban slums. By the 1970’s The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 was created. During this time, neglect and abuse was being recognized. In 1974 Social Services was added in order to provide services for children such as child care and child abuse and neglect prevention programs. In addition to these services, which has become the foundation to all protective services today, is the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare act of 1980. This act was created to prevent children from being removed from their homes and schools if it was not needed and should it be necessary, to find these children the most permanent situation. (Segal, 2010) African-American children comprised thirty percent of the foster care population in 2009, yet they only make up fourteen percent of the United States population. “In California and across the country, black children comprise a far larger proportion of the foster care population than of the overall child population. Black children in California made up 28.2% of the foster care population on July 1, 2006 but just 7.2% of the child population….” ((Shaw, Putnam-Hornstein, Magruder, & Needell, Mar/Apr 2008) Some evidence shows that African Americans are at a higher risk for being poor and African American children are at a higher risk for being mistreated once being placed in foster care. African American families face issues such as incarceration, substance abuse and poor education. These issues can be stressful on any individual, and can increase the chances if neglect and abuse in the home. Poverty is one...
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