Child Welfare: Gateway to Juvenile Court for African-American Youth

Youth of color are overrepresented in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Addressing racial and ethnic disparities (often referred to as “disproportionate minority contact”) has been at the forefront of conversations about how to improve both systems for years. And yet there has been little research that specifically identifies the child welfare system as a pathway to the juvenile justice system for youth of color. The December 2011 Models for Change Knowledge Brief, “Is There a Link between Child Welfare and Disproportionate MinorityContact in Juvenile Justice?” does just that.

1. Researchers looking at system data from Illinois concluded that the Illinois child welfare system can act as a gateway to the juvenile justice system for African-American youth—hence contributing to racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. The Illinois research offers insight into these issues for other states and direction for future research.

(From National Juvenile Justice Network)

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