Disparities in Child Welfare: Considering the Implementation of Differential Response

This brief is a precursor to forthcoming data and research about the impact, or lack of it, connected to differential response strategies in child welfare services. The concept has gained steam as a way to counter racial disproportionality in the child welfare system by offering voluntary services to families known to the system, but whom caseworkers believe can be assisted without an open child protection case.

The brief argues that despite the complex and diffuse reasons that some child welfare systems see disproportionate minority contact, “preliminary research suggests that practice components of [differential response] systems may be conducive to mitigating these phenomena on multiple levels.

It also concedes that “much more research and evlaution in this area is needed to assess the precise mechanisms and best practices in this arena.”

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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
About John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change 1204 Articles
John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at jkelly@chronicleofsocialchange.org.