Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 36 Issue: 11-12 Dated: November-December 2012 Pages: 771-781
This study investigated the correlation between race or ethnicity and the level of community organization on the potential for a child to be placed in substitute care.
The findings from this study on the effect that race or ethnicity and the level of community organization have on the potential for a child to be placed in substitute care are consistent with previous research and support the idea that individual factors such as race, age, and allegation, as well as decreasing levels of social organization, are all associated with the decision to place a child in substitute care. The study also found that the degree to which social organization affected the decision to place a child in substitute care was affected by the race of the child, with African-American children in communities with low levels of social organization being at increased risk for removal from their home. Data for the study were obtained from analysis of 3 years of child welfare administrative and county-level structural data in Illinois. The data was analyzed to determine the extent to which child characteristics and level of community organization affected the risk of a child being placed in substitute care. The findings suggest that the decision by authorities to place a child in substitute care is affected not only by the individual characteristics of the child, but by the level of social organization present in the community. These findings indicate that child welfare systems may need to examine their decisionmaking processes regarding children's removal from parental care and subsequent placement in substitute care. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, figure, and references
Illinois Dept of Children and Family Services
406 East Monroe Street, Springfield, IL 62706, United States
United States of America