Racial Disparities in Child Welfare

There are long-standing concerns about racial disproportionality in the U.S. child welfare System. Black children are represented in CPS and foster care at levels much higher than the overall population. Calls for reform have grown louder in recent months/years, as the nation re-examines structural racism in institutions. Under the umbrella of racial disparities, the Data Lab is engaged in a variety of projects designed to identify, understand and ultimately address racial disparities in child welfare. In close collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services these projects focus on the development of data visualizations to encourage transparency and the dissemination of knowledge. These projects also focus on a series of program evaluation and testing of new analytic methods to understand why disparities exist and to determine if current programmatic efforts are a promising solution.