The Push for Racial Equity in Child Welfare: Can Blind Removals Reduce Disproportionality?

46 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2021 Last revised: 21 Oct 2022

See all articles by E. Jason Baron

E. Jason Baron

Duke University; NBER

Ezra G. Goldstein

Pennsylvania State University; Department of Economics, Florida State University

Joseph Ryan

University of Michigan School of Social Work

Date Written: September 2022

Abstract

We conduct the first quantitative analysis of ``blind removals,” an increasingly popular reform that seeks to reduce the over-representation of Black children in foster care by eliminating biases in the removal decisions of investigators. We first show that over-representation in most foster care systems is driven by Black children being substantially more likely than White children to be investigated for maltreatment to begin with. Conditional on initial rates of investigation, investigators remove White and Black children similarly. Second, we find no evidence that blind removals impacted the already small racial disparities in the removal decision, but they substantially increased time to removal.

Keywords: Blind Removals, Foster Care, Racial Disproportionality

JEL Classification: H75, I38, J13

Suggested Citation

Baron, E. Jason and Goldstein, Ezra G. and Ryan, Joseph, The Push for Racial Equity in Child Welfare: Can Blind Removals Reduce Disproportionality? (September 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3947210 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3947210

E. Jason Baron (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ejasonbaron.com

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ezra G. Goldstein

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

Department of Economics, Florida State University ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.eggoldstein.com

Joseph Ryan

University of Michigan School of Social Work ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
587
Abstract Views
2,172
Rank
87,190
PlumX Metrics