The Unconstitutional Removal of African American Children from their Homes Under the Child Welfare System
WHEREAS, African American children are disproportionately removed from their homes and schools and placed in protective services under the child welfare system; statistics reflect that blacks comprise approximately 12% of the national population and approximately 39% of the foster care population as compared to approximately 34% for whites; and
WHEREAS, according to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, youth in foster care scored approximately 15-20 percentile points below non-foster youth in statewide achievement tests, and only 59% of foster youth who are enrolled in 11th grade complete high school by the end of the 12th grade, compared to 86% of non-foster youth, and about 70% of New York's prison population are former foster children; and
WHEREAS, the law states that children should only be removed from the protection of their families in cases of "imminent danger," but the interpretation of "imminent danger" has been broadened to a point of adverse impact to the sacredness of the family unit, particularly in low income families; and
WHEREAS, children are increasingly routinely removed from their homes based on hearsay, without a court hearing or order, and parents are denied the right to face their accusers; and
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the majority (57.2% nationally) of children are removed from their homes for alleged "neglect" (90% removal in urban areas) and parents declared "unfit."
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP stands opposed to the disproportionate removal of African-American children from their homes and schools by the child welfare system and will investigate the negative and adverse effect of this human rights violation against children and their families; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP and all of its units through the local, state and federal legislative processes will seek to reform and ultimately abolish these practices.