Racism in Child Protective Services is Tearing Minnesota Families Apart

According to state data, black children in Minnesota are disproportionately involved with child protective services and—due to racial bias—more likely to be removed from their families than white children.

Data shows that black families in Minnesota are three times more likely to be involved with child welfare services. The outcome of that involvement is typically more devastating on a variety of measures and likely to have damaging and permanent effects.

Even when facing similar allegations, African American families experienced harsher consequences than their white counterparts, suggesting a clear racial bias in the way CPS handles cases.

For example, black children are more likely to be removed from their homes than white children whose parents face similar allegations. Black parents have their parental rights terminated more often than white parents. Meanwhile, black children are the least likely to be adopted.

The majority of CPS cases involving black families are assigned an investigation for “discretionary reasons,” compared to 39 percent for white families.

This is undoubtedly not just a problem of the racial biases of people working within child protective services, but the people reporting families to them as well.

Black men were arrested this week for sitting in a Starbucks after a manager called the police on them for sitting in the restaurant for literally two minutes. If that’s the level of racism white people reach just over coffee and bathroom access, imagine how sanctimonious their racism can get over the raising of children.

And when white people call the authorities to “handle” black people, the authorities respond, react, and far too often overreact.

Obviously, everyone wants children to be happy and safe, but who benefits from a system that judges the well-being of children and their families differently based on race? Certainly not the children who would have been able to return to their families if only they’d been white.

Fortunately, lawmakers are working to correct this imbalance and rectify the racial biases separating Minnesota families.

Representative Rena Moran and Senator Jeff Hayden have proposed the Minnesota African American Family Preservation Act to improve child protective services and “provide better outcomes for black children and families who go through the system.”

“Racial disparities in the child welfare system must be viewed as a call to action from all of us, regardless of race,” said Moran.

The bill would work to create a council inside the Minnesota Department of Human Services to monitor the way CPS treats black children and families and require local officials to prevent black children from being taken from their families unnecessarily, along with several other provisions intended to “promote family reunification.”

The bill was introduced to the House and Senate last month, but according to Hayden “[his] friends in the GOP have not gravitated to this issue.”

Tell Minnesota lawmakers that you support this bill. Sign the petition asking them to pass the African American Family Preservation Act.

Photo Credit: Francois B. Arthanas

42 comments

Roslyn McBride
Roslyn McBride2 months ago

Agree with Silja Salonen's comment.

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silja salonen
silja s2 months ago

cruelty of so many communities ...the smug self righteousness of this causes unspeakable pain and trauma to the children

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Renata Kovacs
Renata K2 months ago

sorry could not read all of this ..sad and not ok if true,
the world is harsh best of times,,

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Jaime J
Jaime J2 months ago

Thank you!!

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David C
David C2 months ago

thanks

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Margie FOURIE
Margie F2 months ago

Sad

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Marija M
Marija M2 months ago

So very sad...in 21st century...

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Winn A
Winn Adams2 months ago

Signed

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