Keeping Black Families Together: A Focus on Equity in LA County

Child Welfare

black child playing with black adult

In the recent SPS Child Welfare Section Connection newsletter, Audrey Shelby, MSW, wrote an article about the long history of advancing racial equity in the Los Angeles County child welfare system. Between 2020 and 2022, LA County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) sought to specifically target the disproportionate number of entries of Black children into the foster care system, and from 2021 to 2022, DCFS reduced entries of Black children by 38 percent; the outcomes are still holding.

One example of what worked is a hotline effort, which focused on increasing by 20 percent the number of community prevention linkages (CPLs) for referrals involving Black families. Through CPLs, families are directly linked to community resources to get immediate assistance. It has been proven that linking families to concrete support can prevent child abuse in families experiencing stress due to economic instability. The CPL approach was successful in exceeding DCFS’s goal: CPLs referred 33 percent more Black families to community resources, Shelby noted.

Social Work Advocates National Association of Social Workers Spring 2024 Cover

Social Work Advocates Flipbook

NASW members, sign in to read the Spring 2024 issue as a flipbook