Black Americans have a disproportionate desire to become foster parents but have been reluctant to try due to continuous racial discrimination in the foster care system, according to new research conducted by Kidsave International and Gallup. The results, collected from March 22 to April 11 of this year, suggest a need for foster care procedures to change.
The research showed that a whopping one in three Black Americans have “thought a lot” about fostering a child, which is 10% higher than the average of other racial groups. 25% of Black adults have even seriously considered adopting a child from foster care or getting involved in a program to work with foster kids.
The interest is good because although Black minors only account for 14% of the U.S. population, 22% are in foster care. The overrepresentation in the system doesn’t translate to adoption rates, as they’ve been found to be re-homed more consistently and less likely to be adopted than white children. Federal statistics and psychological research have found that paring Black children with Black parents increases the success rate of the adoption process, as it promotes a “culturally responsive foster care environment.”
However, as the statistics show, the number of Black youth who need a home dramatically exceeds those who will adopt, leading to many children falling through the cracks. The new research has exposed a severe need for more Black care providers.
The difference, explained by Kidave and Gallup, was characterized by the fact that Black Americans express a greater distrust in the foster care system than adults of other races; they also face more concerns regarding “age, stage of life and finances.”
The new research results suggest that foster organizations should put more resources into addressing the mistrust and implicit discrimination between Black caregivers and the system to support better the Black youth who need homes.
While Black foster parents can positively impact a child’s life, the study suggests that more organizations should address these concerns to increase the number of caregivers available for Black youth.
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