In a virtual press conference on Monday, legislators addressed the pressing need to confront racial disparities in child protection resources by passing the African American Family Preservation Act.
Empirical evidence shows that a wide disparity exists between the treatment of Black and white children in child protection services. The system’s current structure favors the retention of familiarity for white children while displacing Black children at alarming rates and often placing them in unhealthy environments. The nature of this structure disproportionately subjects black children to situations that cause immense physical and psychological trauma and increase their likelihood of entering the juvenile justice system.
The African American Family Preservation Act establishes culturally grounded resources to repair Black families rather than separate them. The act would establish protective structures for Black families in the child protection service process and tools to monitor the safety of children if a removal must occur. Advocates of the bill demand a more holistic approach to addressing child safety in Black homes, which would require child services to rely on the interests and opinions of family members and existing social networks of the child.
During the press conference, community members provided powerful testimony to the horrific reality of the conditions Black children have been subjected to when removed from their homes. These community members and advocates call on legislators to confront the persecution of Black families by supporting the passage of the African American Family Preservation Act for the wellbeing of all Minnesota communities. (SF 843)