My husband and I have been assisting our mom(my mother-in-law) with caring for her great niece and nephew since the youngest was born. The need was there, and we have never really looked back about whether or not to help, it was something we knew to do. As my mother-in-law gets older, the statements have been made by other family members that we are needed to step up more and do more. Well, I personally am not for the back and forth that she endures with their “mother” and I would much rather do things legally. So we’ve discussed fostering or assuming parental responsibility for these children. So today, I was browsing the web, looking for information on these topics and came across some very interesting reads and listens. Thought I’d share them with you…
I came across this study today and it really hit home how serious it is to recognize the needs that already exist in the African American family structure. For the millions of black women struggling to give birth to their own children, it is really heartbreaking to see how many children which have been born already and are in need of stable homes. This study was put together by the Government Accountability Office and presented to Committee on Ways and Means in the House of Representatives in July of 2007.
Some highlights of the study:
- “A higher rate of poverty is among several factors contributing to the higher proportion of African American children entering and remaining in foster care. Families living in poverty have greater difficulty accessing housing, mental health, and other services needed to keep families stable and children safely at home. Bias or cultural misunderstandings and distrust between child welfare decision makers and the families they serve are also viewed as contributing to children’s removal from their homes into foster care. African American children also stay in foster care longer because of difficulties in recruiting adoptive parents and a greater reliance on relatives to provide foster care who may be unwilling to terminate the parental rights of the child’s parent—as required in adoption—or who need the financial subsidy they receive while the child is in foster care.”
- “A complex set of interrelated factors influence the disproportionate number of African American children who enter foster care as well as their longer lengths of stay, and our review found that poverty and the lack of appropriate homes are particularly influential. Major factors affecting children’s entry into foster care included African American families’ higher rates of poverty, families’ difficulties in accessing support services so that they can provide a safe home for vulnerable children and prevent their removal, and racial bias and cultural misunderstanding among child welfare decision makers. Factors often cited as affecting African American children’s length of stay in foster care included the lack of appropriate adoptive homes for children, greater use of kinship care among African Americans, and parents’ lack of access to supportive services needed for reunification with their children.”
I’ve also found two interesting blog radio shows which made very interesting discussions towards
African American foster care.
Sherri Jefferson – The Facts about DFACS CPS and Foster Care
This episode will discuss the facts about Dept. of Family and Children Services (CPS) and their role concerning removal of children, displacement and foster care. It will also discuss what you can do about getting your child out of foster care and losing your parental rights. For children in foster care, it will discuss their legal rights. (Sherri Jefferson)
CWLA Radio -The Color Blind Challenge: The Case for Changing the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act
Although 15 percent of American children are Black, they make up 32 percent of the 510,000 children in foster care; consistently have lower rates of adoption; and tend to stay in foster care nine months longer than white children. The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) supports a “color blind” approach that prohibits agencies from the policy or practice of matching a child’s race with that of his or her . “On-the-Line” with CWLA’s guests discuss MEPA and the grounds for amending the “color blind” component.
Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.