There is the common contention that whenever there is a racial disproportionality or racial disparity, there must also be racial discrimination. This chapter argues that one must be cautious in drawing conclusions about discrimination from evidence on disparities and disproportionalities since conventional measures of disparities and disproportionalities do not control for relevant factors that might explain why there are disparities or disproportionalities. We measure disparities, disproportionality and discrimination to differentiate between causes of disparities and observed outcomes in the child welfare system using national data on child maltreatment cases, substantiations and foster care placements. Further, we provide implications for professionals working in the child welfare system when measuring disproportionalities and disparities to avoid false conclusions that all these measures capture the same qualitative concepts.
With the assistance of Man Xu, Graduate Research Assistant Humphrey School of Public Affairs University of Minnesota and Diana Vega Vega, Undergraduate Research Assistant Humphrey School of Public Affairs University of Minnesota. This is an appendix that will not be published for a chapter that will be published in: Handbook of Foster Youth Routledge/Taylor & Francis Edited by: Elizabeth Trejos & Nancy Trevino
Myers, Samuel L. Jr.; Sabol, William.
Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality in Foster Care Appendix Tables.
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