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 system.
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 and recommending actions. Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) provided project management, coaching and technical assistance support to the Coalition.
The PPA team: Dr. 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 as well as unequal treatment. 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 partnered with and coached stakeholders, including the Michigan Department of Human Services, to work toward creating a new model (the first of its kind in the nation) with potential for national replication.
Results: Based on the research, the Coalition provided recommendations to policymakers for reducing disparities in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and improving the lives of families and youth of color.
- Expert facilitation
- Secondary analysis of existing databases
- Strategic consultation