Pro Child Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Anti-Family
Approximately 22,000 more Minnesota children annually are getting a child protection visit because counties are now following common screening standards.
Overall this has increased child safety and brought us more in line with other states. But credible critics say these guidelines are applied differently in communities of color, raising concerns that this reform is increasing racial disparities and is anti-family.
It’s critical to ensure that standards are applied equitably. We should also spend political capital supporting programs that prevent children from getting into child protection by engaging the whole family. The Northside Achievement Zone for example has measurably increased parents’ employment and improved children’s school outcomes. Both metrics are correlated with reduced maltreatment.
Data driven, two-generation programs like this can simultaneously reduce child abuse and racial disparities in child protection.