Monday, February 6, 2023

Play

Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.

Play

The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

The Evolution of Ohio's Children Services System, Part 1: History

Play

Monday, December 6, 2021   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Children Services is tasked with protecting the safety, well-being, and permanency of children and families, but some experts say it has not escaped its origins as a system that separates.

Alexandra Citrin, senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, explained there is a long-standing belief foster care is the best and only intervention for families struggling with abuse or neglect, and she said separation particularly impacts families of color.

"At the beginning, the system didn't even serve children of color because they weren't deemed worthy," Citrin explained. "We then see the children services system separating Native children from their families and their culture to try and force assimilation, and separating Black children at a very high rate."

Citrin pointed out oppression and racism within children services are connected to systemic policies excluding families of color and do not create the social support families need.

The disparities are evident in other public systems rooted in racism, including juvenile justice. Currently, Black children represent 36% of the children in foster care in Ohio, while they represent 14% of children in the general population. Black and mixed-race children also experience more placements in the foster system than their white peers.

Research has found racial bias among people who report children to Children Services and among the caseworkers who assess a family's situation.

Robin Reese, executive director of Lucas County Children Services, said her staff is laser-focused on protecting children from abuse and neglect. When the focus is affected by poverty and the overwhelming number of cases workers are managing, she said it can unintentionally lead to racial disparities.

"We have some of the best people in this field, but the truth is, all of us come in with biases," Reese observed. "It impacts the way we do the work. And so, if you're a person of color, and you're poor, the risk of you having involvement in child protection is raised."

And Citrin noted the way child protection is funded also contributed to the history of separation. She emphasized prior to the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, federal funding streams including services to help keep children with their families were inadequate.

"Title IV-E up until very recently could only be used for foster care placements," Citrin stressed. "You didn't have the federal funding stream for child welfare services to serve families where children were able to remain home and in their community."

Title IV-E is the main federal funding source for child welfare systems. Citrin added states have also been limited in their ability to fund prevention services as child welfare agencies have to first pay for children who are placed in foster care as federal financing only covers part of the cost.

Part two of our series will examine the current state of children services and families served.


get more stories like this via email
Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


Environment

By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …


Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …

Sixty schools piloted College Board's new AP African American Studies course, which is set to appear in over 200 schools starting in the 2024-2025 school year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: YouthTruth surveyed more than 28,000 high school seniors from the class of 2022 and the class of 2019 in 19 states, including New York…

Social Issues

For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021