The over representation of black children in the child welfare system has been a persistent issue. Black children are more likely to be placed in foster care,
experience a longer stay in foster care, wait for longer periods of time to reunify
with their families, and endure slower exit rates than non-minority children.
A novel approach to racial equity is currently being implemented in Nassau County, a community in Long Island, New York. It is known as Blind Removals. This program allows for foster care decisions to be made without knowledge of family location or demographics. After meeting the family, the child welfare worker de-identifies the case file and presents the information to a committee. The worker does not mention family names, race or neighborhood. The committee makes a recommendation about removal, never knowing demographics. The blind removals program put a spotlight on implicit bias in child welfare decision-making, a key focus of improving the disparity in the foster care system; and it has significantly decreased the number of black children being removed from their parents.
Dr. Pryce’s goal is to work with Nassau County to bring this project to scale and make it accessible to other states.