Letters to the Editor: Racial disparities in foster care are in fact the result of discrimination and bias

By The Los Angeles Times | July 3, 2024

Stoneleigh Fellow Sarah Katz responded to a June 26th LA Times op-ed that reinforced damaging racist tropes about families in the child welfare system.

To the editor: The June 26 op-ed reinforces damaging racist tropes about families ensnared in the child welfare system, and obscures hard truths about foster care. Family separation causes significant traumatic harm to children and parents, yet it is still the primary intervention offered by the child welfare system, despite the fact that most children are in foster care due to neglect, not abuse.

There is simply no evidence that Black parents abuse their children more frequently than other parents; instead, there is evidence that Black families are more likely to be reported, investigated and have their families torn apart as a result of deep systemic racism and bias woven into the laws of child protection.

Instead of tearing them apart, we should be providing support and resources to families so that they can stay together and thrive.

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