How Are the Children? Foster Care and African-American Boys

By Bell, William C. | National Urban League. The State of Black America, January 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

How Are the Children? Foster Care and African-American Boys


Bell, William C., National Urban League. The State of Black America


"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A new report from the United Nations and UNICEF recently ranked the United States and Great Britain as number 20 and 21 respectively out of 21 countries in the industrialized world with regards to the quality of life and well-being of its children and youth. UNICEF examined 40 factors, such as poverty, deprivation, education, health, relationships and risky behavior and placed the U.S. and Great Britain at the bottom of a list of 21 developed nations. In almost all categories, poorer nations such as Poland and the Czech Republic fared better than the United States.1

"I think we know from history in the U.S.," says David Parker, of UNICEF, "that it's not necessarily how the welfare is provided but the nature of the support. One of the key things is that the role of government is important, but the entire society must have at its heart the idea of improving child well-being." 2

We know that in almost all categories of well-being, poor children and children of color tend to do worse than their counterparts in the general population. Therefore, one question that we must consider in America is, how are children of color faring, specifically young black males?

In a 2006 article in the Journal of Adolescence, authors Scott & Davis summarized what it means to be young, black and male in American society today:

"It means to be a member of a group who is the disproportionate victim of homicide. It means to be a member of a group whose rate of suicide is increasing astronomically in comparison to other populations. It means to be a member of a group whose labor force status is declining enormously as evidenced by high rates of joblessness. And for those in foster care, it means being a member of a group with poorer life outcomes (e.g. incarceration, education, employment)." 3

Clearly, being a young, black male in America today means facing significant challenges as well as daunting odds. As we explore these issues as a society and try to identify solutions, one of the critical questions to ask ourselves is: "How are we preparing our nation's children, especially those in most need, to be productive participants in the process of helping America regain its place of prominence in the world?"

The Most Vulnerable

One of the most vulnerable child populations in this country is children who are in foster care. Each year approximately 300,000 children are removed from their birth parents and placed in the child welfare system due to harmful conditions (i.e. neglect, abuse, or parental substance abuse, incarceration and/or death). Every year in America, over 500,000 children live in foster care in the United States. Of those, 57% are children of color.4 What is especially concerning is that: (1) there is an increasingly disproportionate number of children, youth and families of color in the child welfare system; and (2) there is substantial evidence that minority children who enter the child welfare system are at greater risk for poorer outcomes than thek white counterparts. In nearly every state, African-American children are represented in foster care in higher percentages than in the state's general population. A review of all the studies conducted over the last fifteen years found that "children of color and their families experience poorer outcomes and receive fewer services than their Caucasian counterparts". 5

Disproportionate representation among children of color continues to be a chronic problem despite studies that report no significant differences in maltreatment rates between different racial and ethnic groups.6 Nationally and in 46 states, the percentage of the foster care population that is comprised by children of African heritage is between 1 ½ times to 3 ½ times more than the percentage of African-American children in the overall population.7

"Being African American presents a threefold set of challenges for children in foster care. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How Are the Children? Foster Care and African-American Boys
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.