Courts Catalyzing Change

Research has demonstrated that children and families of color are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system and frequently experience disparate outcomes. While children of all races are equally as likely to suffer from child abuse and neglect, the percentage of African-American children who enter and remain in out-of-home care is greater than their proportion in the population.

The complexity and significance of this issue points to the critical need for collaborative efforts to not only further study the factors that contribute to racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system, but also to design and implement specific actions that courts and child welfare system stakeholders can take to reduce these inequities and ultimately improve outcomes for all children and families.

The Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care Initiative (CCC), funded by Casey Family Programs and supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), brings together judicial officers and other systems’ experts to set a national agenda for court-based training, research, and reform initiatives to reduce the disproportionate representation of children of color in dependency court systems.

The Initiative, informed by existing research, will re-evaluate federal, state, and local policy and make recommendations for changes or improvements. The Initiative will identify and evaluate all decision points in the dependency court system to determine where specific action can be taken, and recommend strategies for court and systems change to reduce racial disproportionality and disparate treatment.

Listed below is more information and research related to particular topics of the Initiative.

Current Projects

CCC in the Model Courts - The First Five Years: Technical Assistance Bulletin

CCC Benchcard Study Report

Right from the Start: The CCC Preliminary Protective Hearing Benchcard, A Tool for Judicial Decision-Making

CCC Benchcard Inserts

Policy Actions to Reduce Racial Disproportionality and Disparities in Child Welfare

The Oregonian, African American and Native American More Likely to go to Foster Care

National CASA Association Newsletter on the Disproportionality Representation of Children of Color in Dependency Court Proceedings.

NCJFCJ TODAY Magazine Articles

TODAY Magazine Article: Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care--Transforming Examination into Action

TODAY Magazine Article: The Lens of Implicit Bias

National Agenda to Reduce Racial Disproportionality and Disparities/ Implementation Tools

Model Courts National Agenda Implementation Guide

Courts Catalyzing Change National Agenda

Sample Worksheet to Address Local Implementation of the National Agenda

Sample Action Plan Worksheet to Implement the National Agenda

Racial Disproportionality and Disparity Research and Data

Race The Power of an Illusion DVD information

Key Indicators and Measures for Disproportionality and Disparity

Casey Family Programs Disproportionality Fact Sheet