African American children have long been placed in the foster care system, as well as the juvenile justice system in numbers far out of pace with their representation in the general child population. The effects of over-representation and disproportionality are far reaching. For more information about these issues, click here.
SUPPORTING AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILIES
Our number one priority is to proactively support African American families. We firmly believe that the African American community has all of the necessary resources, right now, to resolve the child welfare crisis affecting our communities. If we take care of our families, there can be no legitimate argument for government intervention in the affairs of our families. If we take care of our children there will not be a need to discuss the pros and cons of different forms of "substitute" care and the need for "adoptive" placements. To the extent that African American families need more responsive and relevant services, we must work to ensure that these services are received... and in a timely manner.
Please click here for additional information and resources related to issues of family support and preservation, as well as for a listing of family support organizations that have proven effective in their ability to work with African American families and communities.
Kinship Care, in its various forms, must be a first consideration when it comes to African American children entering (and currently in) the foster care system. Kinship caregivers must receive adequate assistance so that they can best meet the needs of the children in their care. Kinship Care policies must be responsive to the particularities of African American culture and the inherent extended family support system. While relatives may step forward to care for children within the extended family network, this should not be seen as "replacing" the mother and father. We believe, on a fundamental level, that the American approach toward "terminating the rights of a parent" to care for their child is not healthy and can be extremely counterproductive.
Please click here for more information and resources relevant to Kinship Care, as well as for a listing of organizations that have a proven track record of providing effective Kinship Care services.
Adoption should be considered as a last resort, after all other efforts at family preservation and subsidized kinship placement (or subsidized guardianship) have proven unsuccessful. In those cases where adoptive placement is sought, placement decisions should reflect a careful consideration of the long-term developmental impact on the child, including careful considerations of race and culture.
Please click here for more information about adoption, as well as for a listing of adoption agencies that have a proven track record in their work with African American families and other useful adoption-related resources.
For more information about foster care issues, please click here.
CHILDREN WITH PARENTS WHO ARE INCARCERATED
For more information about issues regarding children with one or both parents who ae incarcerated, please click here.
For more information about juvenile justice issues, please click here.
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