June 8, 2020


Children’s Law Center of California grieves with the country about the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Aubrey. Their deaths along with so many other brutal and senseless killings have ignited a critical call to action for systemic change. CLC stands with the brave protesters speaking out about the desperate need to address both police brutality and the institutional and overt racism which continues to fuel the oppression of Black, Brown and Native people across America.

For those of us working in the child welfare system, we too must see this as a call to action. It is unacceptable to remain silent when racism, discrimination and bias destroys families in the name of child protection. These are facts:

  • Black and native families are more likely to be reported for allegations of child abuse, more likely to be investigated and ultimately more likely to be separated than white families.
  • Even with lower risk scores than non-black families, one study found that Black children were 77% more likely to be removed from their parents rather than being provided supportive services at home.
  • Another study found that using “blind removals,” where decisions about whether or not to place a child in foster care were made without any knowledge of race or ethnicity, resulted in a nearly 50% reduction in the separation of black families.
  • After being removed from their families and placed in foster care, Black children are less likely to reunify or find permanency, which leaves them more likely to grow up in foster care and enter adulthood without a family.

As advocates for children and families, we must do better. Today CLC renews our commitment to building an organizational culture that centers on fighting racism and honoring diversity, inclusion and cultural humility. We will continue to look to our own Reducing Racial Disproportionality and Disparity (ReDD) Committee, who since 2017 have helped our staff recognize and understand the impact of our own biases on our clients, each other and the communities we serve. Listening and learning with an open mind and open heart provides a strong foundation and prepares us to take the next step.

The time is now to hold ourselves and others accountable to fight against institutional racism and implicit bias, end the unnecessary separation of children from their families and shut down the foster care to prison pipeline.

To the children and youth we serve we know you are counting on us.

We see you. We hear you.

Black Lives Matter.

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