African American Children In Foster Care: Additional HHS Assistance Needed to Help States Reduce the Proportion in Care: Report to the Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives.
United States Government Accountability Office. United States House of Representatives. Committee on Ways and Means.
Report to Congress
iii, 81 p.
Published: July 2007
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A significantly greater proportion of African American children are in foster care than children of other races and ethnicities, according to HHS and other research. Given this situation, GAO was asked to analyze the (1) major factors influencing the proportion of African American children in foster care, (2) extent that states and localities have implemented promising strategies, and (3) ways in which federal policies may have influenced African American representation in foster care. GAO's methodologies included a nationwide survey; a review of research and federal policies; state site visits; analyses of child welfare data; and interviews with researchers, HHS officials, and other experts. GAO suggests that Congress consider amending current law to allow subsidies for legal guardianships. HHS believes its proposal for restructuring child welfare funding would give states the option to do this, but the viability of this proposal is uncertain. GAO also recommends that HHS further assist states in addressing disproportionality. In its comments, HHS noted that GAO's recommendation was consistent with its efforts to provide technical assistance to states, but did not address the specific actions GAO recommended. GAO continues to believe that further assistance is important for helping states address disproportionality. (Author abstract)
racial disproportionality; african americans; foster care; promising practices