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Racial Disproportionality in Washington State's Child Welfare System

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Marna Miller - June 2008

The 2007 Legislature created the Racial Disproportionality Advisory Committee to study disproportion in Washington’s child welfare system, and directed the Institute to conduct analyses for the Committee. The initial analysis found that Indian, Black, and Hispanic children referred to Child Protective Services (CPS) in the 2004 study year were present in the system at rates greater than White children, and that Asian children were under-represented in the child welfare system. Further analysis determined that most of the disproportionality occurred at point of referral to CPS alleging abuse or neglect. Controlling for poverty, geography, age of the child, and other factors using regression analysis still indicated disproportionality at many points in the child welfare system.

Report ID: 08-06-3901
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