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Bill seeks to reduce foster placements of black children



ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Minnesota lawmakers have reintroduced legislation aimed at reducing out-of-home foster placements for black children and keeping more families together within the state’s child protection system.

Sen. Jeff Hayden and Rep. Rena Moran have sponsored the Minnesota African-American Family Preservation Act, which would also establish better oversight when black children are moved to foster families.

The bill didn’t advance last year, but Moran said she’s hopeful that Republicans will support it after hearing from black parents who have lost their children.

Black children are three times more likely to experience out-of-home placement than white children, according to Claire Wilson, deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

“The disparities in Minnesota’s child protection system are alarming,” Wilson told Minnesota Public Radio News , noting that the agency is committed to working with lawmakers.

Data from the state’s juvenile courts show that the number of child welfare cases that involve black families has increased by more than 50 percent between 2013 and 2017.

Kelis Houston, who advocates on behalf of children in court, said qualified relatives and black foster parents are often overlooked as placement options for black children.

Hayden, one of the bill’s sponsors, said there are too many examples of black children being raised in white foster homes and losing their cultural identity.

“They grew up in a process in which they didn’t know who they were,” Hayden said. “And subsequently, (they) had a lot of trouble dealing with society because they had no grounding.”

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  1. Diane

    February 19, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Minnesota needs a bill like this for all children . CPS removes far to many children from their parents and needs to start addressing whythey were brought to their door . Provide services to strengthen the family and correct what is wrong . Spend the foster care money on the parents so the children can remain with their parents . The trauma caused by removal will affect the child for life . It destroys the children !

  2. Margaret

    February 19, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Shuldnt this b for all kids and not just one race?

  3. Tally Rokosz

    February 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    This bill should be to reduce all children in fostercare. And stop the unnecessary termination of parental rights. My white children did not enjoy being drugged, raped, sexually assaulted, physically assaulted, mentally abused, brain washed or used as slaves!!!! All thanks to the state of Minnesota claiming it to be in their best interest 🙁 shame on all of you whom participated, you all belong in jail.

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