CSSP logo                                                    Alliance for RaceialEquity in Child Welfare


Last month, President Obama launched My Brother's Keeper, a new initiative to provide and promote effective programs and opportunities designed to help young men of color be successful.


This spotlight on the ongoing disparities and needed opportunities for these young men has been a long time coming. And as awareness is raised on the larger picture of African American males in the population, there is a group to whom particular attention must be paid: the African American boys and young men involved with state and local child welfare systems.


What distinguishes this group of young men from a general population often ignored or misunderstood, is that the child welfare system is designed to provide for their safety, permanence and well-being. Yet it frequently fails them.


In Changing Course: Improving Outcomes for African American Males Involved in Child Welfare Systems, a new Center for the Study of Social Policy brief, one such young man shared that "everywhere I went, it felt like I was either ignored or I was a problem."


There is a problem, but it's not him. With African American males in the foster care system over-represented, and too many spending their entire adolescence in care, ending up in group homes or institutional settings and less likely to find a permanent family, we need to take action now.


This paper is designed to spur ideas, discussion and action among child welfare system leaders, judges, advocates and other partners working to improve outcomes for African American males.


It's a conversation and a problem we can't avoid any longer and a group of young men for whom we have to literally "change course" and open new pathways to education, employment and stable family relationships. 


Click here to read the press release.




About the Center for the Study of Social Policy

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is a national, nonprofit organization recognized for its leadership in shaping policy, reforming public systems and building the capacity of communities. For more than 30 years, CSSP has influenced and supported elected officials, public administrators, families and neighborhood residents to take the actions they need.


Based in Washington, D.C., CSSP translates research and new ideas into strategies for on-the-ground implementation. We use the knowledge from those real experiences to better inform the next generation of ideas, programs and policies.


CSSP's goal is to make sure low-income children can learn, develop and thrive with the support of strong families in safe and healthy communities.

About the Alliance

Established in 2004, the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare provides national leadership in support of improved outcomes for children and families of color involved with the nation's child welfare system. The Alliance is guided by a coalition of national organizations, state and local leaders, judges, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, advocates, parents, as well as alumni and youth who have directly experienced the child welfare system. 

The Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and The California Endowment and managed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
Center for the Study of Social Policy 
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