The State Court Administrative Office – Child Welfare Services received a grant from Casey Family Programs to develop a statewide race equity coalition to improve the lives of Michigan children and families by eliminating racial and ethnic disproportionality in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
The Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice was charged with identifying disproportionate representation and possible disparate treatment of minority children and youth as well as recommending actions. Public Policy Associates, Inc. provided project management, data analysis, coaching, and technical assistance support to the Coalition.
The PPA team: Public Policy Associates President Paul Elam was the project manager. He has extensive experience in criminal justice and child welfare and is currently providing support to the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, the Michigan Department of Human Services, and Saginaw County on child welfare and juvenile justice issues.
Our work: PPA collected and analyzed data from the child welfare and juvenile justice systems that documented over-representation of minority children and youth. Although the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has a process for addressing disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system, no similar process on the national level has been developed for the child welfare system. PPA has partnered with and coached stakeholders, including the Michigan Department of Human Services, to work toward creating a new model with potential for national replication.
Results: The Coalition’s work and recommendations were presented at a legislative forum sponsored by the Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. It will help inform policymakers to reduce disparities in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and improve the lives of families and youth of color.
- Expert facilitation
- Secondary analysis of existing databases
- Strategic consultation