Measuring change in disproportionality and disparities: three diagnostic tools.
Abstract: At present there are few examples of sustained reductions in disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. This article describes the use of three instruments that have been used to measure levels of racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparities: The Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool, Ecomap and Racial Equity Scorecard. Using a combination of community and public agency data, these tools measure and track change over time on racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparities. Study results indicated a reduction in racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparities and demonstrated the utility of all three instruments for targeting efforts and assessing improvements in child welfare over time.
Subject: Child welfare (Analysis)
Community service (Analysis)
Authors: Richardson, Brad
Derezotes, Dennette
Pub Date: 12/22/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Health and Human Services Administration Publisher: Southern Public Administration Education Foundation, Inc. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Government; Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Southern Public Administration Education Foundation, Inc. ISSN: 1079-3739
Issue: Date: Winter, 2010 Source Volume: 33 Source Issue: 3
Product: Product Code: 8340000 Community Services NAICS Code: 6242 Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 250033501
Full Text: INTRODUCTION

Iowa is similar to the nation overall where children of color represent 59% of the foster care population compared to 39% of the general population though three previous national studies have shown little difference in abuse or neglect between racial groups (National Data Analysis System, 2005). Once in contact with the child welfare system, groups of non-white children (especially African American and Native American) experience a higher rate of out-of-home placement (Derezotes, Richardson, Kleinschmit-Rembert, Bear King and Pratt, 2008) and are less likely to be reunified with their birth parents (Hill, 2006). Many children involved in the child welfare system also experience disparities in other systems (e.g., those identified as minority youth make up 12% of Iowa's youth population and are one-third of those held in confinement; cf. Tuell, 2003; Wiig & Tuell, 2005; Wiig, Widom, & Tuell, 2003).

To comply with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, all states are required to address issues of over-representation in the juvenile justice system. In 2002, Iowa established the DMC Resource Center at The University of Iowa School of Social Work, National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice. The purpose of the DMC Resource Center was to provide training, technical assistance, research and evaluation, and to hold annual conferences on over-representation. When the Minority Youth and Families Initiative (MYFI) was included in the state's child welfare redesign plan in 2004, the DMC Resource Center was utilized by the state to integrate the child welfare and juvenile justice disproportionality reduction efforts (Richardson, 2005a, 2005b; Richardson & McFall-Jean, 2005; Richardson et al., 2006). Over eighty percent of the American Indian children in the child welfare system in Iowa were located in Woodbury County, Iowa. As a result, the DMC Resource Center, along with the Iowa Department of Human Services and community and national partners, dedicated efforts serving Native American children and families more effectively (Derezotes et al., 2008) and, among other interventions, utilized the tools described here.

BACKGROUND

Published research has documented racial disproportionality (1) and disparities (2) throughout the United States; however, the more traditional research has focused primarily on aggregate analyses and rates which have failed to provide organizational analyses or the identification of tools for systemic and organizational change necessary to develop more racially equitable systems. Creating long term, sustainable change in disproportionality and disparities within a system requires attention to systems functions related to community, policy, research, practice, human work force development, and communication (Derezotes et. al. 2008). It is therefore important to understand influences at the individual, organizational and societal levels. Understanding and addressing disproportionality and disparities simultaneously at each of these levels is needed to impact institutionalized racism and the organizational and cultural competence change needed (McPhatter and Ganaway, 2003). Inclusion, partnership, and level of ongoing input of the local community represent important measures of progress in collaboration with communities seeking to make system changes consistent with the needs of the community (Wells, S. J., Merritt & Briggs, 2009). A set of tools that can be used to track both agency and community progress toward creating more racially equitable practices and systems that better meet the needs of all children and families is provided below. The Racial Equity Scorecard provides basic information on overall disproportionality and disparities; ecomaps measure the strength of the relationships among organizations and community partners and other community members; and the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool measures relative success as rated by agencies and community partners at the individual practice, system and societal levels (Fabella, et al. 2007).

METHODS

Data-driven strategies used to diagnose and measure disproportionality and disparities in Woodbury County include: the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool to assess domains in the spheres of the societal, system, and individual (practice) levels affecting disproportionality; ecomaps to illustrate relationships among agencies and community members; and relative rate matrices to examine disproportionality at decision points in the juvenile justice system (see relative rate matrices on the DMC Resource Center website at: http://www.uiowa.edu/~nrcfcp/dmcrc/facts and figures.sht ml); and the racial equity scorecard to track rates at child welfare decision points.

1. The Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool

The Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool was used to measure change in the community and public child welfare agency perceptions in the three spheres across 11 domains. The measures on eleven domains of the three spheres are critical to comprehensively and effectively addressing disproportionality in public child welfare and also provide for the collection of contextual and qualitative information important for community change. The domains within each sphere are Strategy, Culture, Policy, Legal System, Training and Education, Communications, Resources, Practice, Economic Issues, Data & Technology, and Personnel/People. The spheres include:

* Societal--assessment of community agencies; local, state, and federal governments; educational, religious, and financial institutions; and culture and values. It is important to recognize that disproportionality in child welfare is a reflection of institutional and systemic racism at the societal level.

* System--this is the child welfare system itself. Though policies and practices in child welfare are unlikely to be explicitly biased, it is important to examine and review long-standing approaches within the agency. Child welfare agencies have the ability to strongly or solely influence the development and implementation of new or improved standards, policies, regulations, training, and supervision.

* Individual--this pertains to individual social workers, supervisors, and administrators in their respective roles and the potential impact that their own outlooks, life experiences, and biases can have on disproportionality.

Four response categories are used: "yes," "no," "sometimes," and "don't know." (In the original development of the tool considerable discussion took place about the use and scoring of "sometimes" and "don't know"; it was determined that those categories were necessary because in practice they are valid responses which outweighs the elegance of a binary response.) For some questions there are also open-ended follow-up responses which are required to embellish the quantitative response. For example, one topic area (Resources), asks, "Do you know if and where adequate emergency services, hospitals, schools, faith-based institutions and other necessary or beneficial services exist?" If the answer is "yes," then the question is "How do their absences or presence, and their levels of adequate or inadequate service reflect the values of the community?" This allows a more in-depth examination and requires the user to focus more critically on the issue. Respondents are given the opportunity to capture the data source for the answer to each question or identify the need for specific data in order to answer the question. Finally, the respondent is given an opportunity to identify practices, programs, or other initiatives that are currently being used or are being considered for addressing disproportionality.

Much of the value after completion of the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool comes from determining where efforts are taking place within a sphere, which domain areas within each sphere are adequately addressed, which strengths should be built on in the spheres and topic areas, and where interventions are presently needed. Agencies and communities can consider work in spheres across topic areas as they develop plans given available resources. The tool enables a more complete understanding of issues underlying disproportionality and serves as a mechanism to engage in exploration of the contributing factors. The tool's ability to aid in assessing influences of the community, the structure and culture of the public child welfare agency, the cultural competence of the staff delivering services, and the societal context was believed to be the most comprehensive and effective way to assess and intervene on behalf of vulnerable children and families.

Despite the extensive evaluation of process, outcome, and measures of rates that were gathered and tracked, until 2007 data were not collected which directly addressed organizational culture change of public agencies affected by the local collaborative efforts or changes within the community. Beginning in 2007, the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool was used to gather data from those working in the public agency and the community group working with the collaboration represented by the community. The tool was initially administered during the implementation of the MYFI and Alliance work in 2007 with a follow-up assessment several months later. Another follow-up was conducted in 2009. Comparisons were made on the ratings in the spheres of influence and topic areas (see Figures 1 thru 3) and presented to the larger group for use in reflecting on strengths, examining differences, and providing data for discussion to prioritize areas for further work.

Although the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool was used in other ways in other places (e.g. as documented in California and Virginia by Fabella, et al., 2007), the tool was found to have utility in Woodbury County through between groups comparisons. It contributed to the understanding of baseline data about the existence of disproportionality, provided understanding about where progress had been made toward understanding where the perspectives on disproportionality were similar or different, and where efforts needed to be strengthened to have a more unified understanding of the challenges and the solutions. By using the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool to compare results over time in conjunction with other data, it was found that discussions to better understand why changes had taken place were facilitated and enhanced, and further exploration of the information was available for incorporation into ongoing planning.

2. The Racial Equity Scorecard

The purpose of the Racial Equity Scorecard (Scorecard) was to provide a framework for assembling and analyzing data for a state or local area on levels of disproportionality and disparities in child welfare, either at current levels or over time. It was developed for the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare for work in jurisdictions that were addressing racial and ethnic disproportionality in their child welfare systems. Four calculations are used in the Scorecard to examine racial and ethnic differences in the child welfare population: 1) the percentage of children by race and ethnicity in the total child population and in the child welfare population; 2) the disproportionality rate which is a comparison of the percentage of children of a particular race or ethnicity in the child welfare system to the percentage of that group in the general population (sometimes referred to as over-representation); 3) the rate per thousand by race and ethnicity which is the number of children of a particular race or ethnicity that are represented in the child welfare system for every 1000 children of the same race or ethnicity of children in the general population; and 4) the disparity ratio (sometimes referred to as the relative rate) which is the comparison of the rate per 1000 of a race or ethnicity to another race or ethnicity.

Beginning with the development of a baseline using the measures described above to assess the current situation, child welfare system involvement is examined within time points and across racial and ethnic groups in order to determine how a group compares over time and how one group compares to another. Based on this information, discussions took place regarding potential changes that could occur that would improve the system. Efforts to measure racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparities in child welfare grew out of juvenile justice efforts to measure disproportionate minority contact ("DMC," Pope & Feyerherm, 1990, Hill, 2007; Shaw, Putnam-Hornstein, Magruder & Needell ,2008). The Scorecard provided measures to identify where disproportionality existed in Woodbury County

3. Ecomaps

The Ecomap displays the strength of relationships in a network. Developed by Hartman (1975), it was originally adapted from general systems theory. An ecomap shows connections with the environment, demonstrating the connections and strength of relationships and can be used to track changes in relationships over time. First used as a tool to illustrate relationships for a client and later an organization, the adaptation of the ecomap was used by the Woodbury County MYFI project to illustrate relationships among those involved in the effort to reduce disproportionality in child welfare among Native children and families.

RESULTS

1. The Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool

Prior to 2002 some work on disproportionality had been conducted by the state but not with the intensity that began with the development of the DMC Resource Center. In 2005, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention began requiring the population of relative rate matrices with data from states and local jurisdictions to examine decision points in the juvenile justice system. Examination of the relative rate matrices and the scorecard led the Alliance to begin its work focusing on gateways into the child welfare system. As this work began, examination of the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool became valuable for understanding systemic changes and barriers.

The results for each sphere of the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool are presented in Tables 1, 2, and 3. The percentages represent the percentage of "yes" responses for all items in each domain. The number of yes responses was divided by the number of all possible responses minus non-responses. For items with "sometimes" as a valid value, .5 was assigned. Figures 5-7 present the scores at three points in time. The overall score provides a general measure across domains.

The Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool was completed by members of the community and by professionals employed by the public child welfare agency. The responses from community members showed an increase in the percentage of "yes" responses at second assessment for society (16 percent), system (18 percent), and individual (26 percent) spheres, respectively. For the public child welfare agency the percentages increased for the society (21 percent), system (14 percent), and individual (9 percent) spheres. However, for the third assessment, those representing public agencies indicated negative changes for the three spheres of society (-22 percent), system (-25 percent), and individual (-16 percent) while the community indicated much smaller changes for the three spheres of 2, 0, and -7, respectively. This suggests perceived changes by those in the community were less than the changes perceived by public agency representatives.

Further analyses of the public agency data reveal that substantial decreases (more than 25%) in culture, training and education, and communication negatively affected the overall score at the societal level. Culture, policy, communication, practice, and economic, data, and technology domains showed more than 25 percent decreases in the system sphere. At the individual level policy economic, data, and technology domain decreases of more than 25 percent contributed to the overall percentage decrease.

The data provided by community members indicate that increases in culture, policy, legal, training and education, communication, resources, practice, data and technology, and people/personnel contributed to the increase overall on the society sphere. For the system sphere, there was an overall increase between assessment 1 and assessment 2 which remained constant at 46 percent on assessment 3. The domains of the system sphere generally reflected a pattern similar to the overall score of larger increases followed by smaller differences at assessment 3. This trend toward larger increases followed by more tempered assessments at the third assessment was also the case in the individual sphere where the overall percentage was 31 percent at assessment 1, 57 percent at assessment 2, and 50 percent at assessment 3. Figures 1, 2, and 3 illustrate these trends while Figures 4, 5, and 6 illustrate the difference between assessment time points.

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2. The Race Equity Scorecard

The Racial Equity Scorecard was developed by the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare for work in jurisdictions addressing racial and ethnic disproportionality in their child welfare systems. Data on decision points are used in the Scorecard to examine racial and ethnic differences in the child welfare population. Table 4 is the scorecard with data at baseline created to identify the different rates of representation in out-of-home placement in Woodbury County. This scorecard indicates that Native American children were overrepresented in child welfare compared to their representation in the general population in Woodbury County. The Scorecard indicates the following: 1) percentages--Native American children are 2.8% of the general population in Woodbury County, Iowa but represent 15.4% of the child welfare system; 2) disproportionality rate--the disproportionality rate for Native Americans in the child welfare system is 5.5; 3) the rate per thousand--148 of every 1000 Native American children in Woodbury County were in Foster Care; and 4) the disparity ratio--Native American children in placement was higher than the rate per thousand for white children by a factor of 7.

During regularly scheduled meetings, members reviewed the data and identified decision points that needed to be addressed. The decision points identified on the scorecard included: accepted reports, report findings (not confirmed, confirmed, founded, and registered--the most serious determination), initial placements, placements, reunifications, permanencies, and re-entries.

Subsequent data were gathered in the same format as the initial scorecard for tracking over time to measure changes resulting from strategies implemented to address the decision points selected for intervention. From 2005 - 2008, rates of differences for accepted, founded, and registered reports decreased as did confirmed reports and entries. From 2006-2008, reunifications and permanencies increased. Community members were pleased with the shifts toward more positive outcomes and continued to use the measures in shaping ongoing strategies to continue to making changes and developing supports in the community and in the child welfare system.

It is critical to maintain data collection efforts over time. If data collection efforts are not maintained changes in outcomes could occur that go unnoticed, creating an environment in which those advocating for change are unaware of the current status of events.

3. Initiative Ecomaps

In 2003 the Iowa Indian Child Welfare Act was adopted "in response to concerns about disparate treatment of Indian families, extremely disproportionate representation of Indian children in foster care and reports of non-compliance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act by both courts and child welfare officials". The legislature also adopted a bill requiring the Department of Human Services to implement a Child Welfare Redesign (later called Better Results for Kids, or BR4K) including "two Children of Color Projects." The local community work and the Child Welfare Redesign (Concannon, 2003) served as the foundation for what became known as the Minority Youth and Family Initiative (MYFI) which resulted in the development of a child welfare unit specifically designed to provide culturally relevant services to Native American children receiving county child welfare services in Woodbury County.

The Iowa Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the local Woodbury County Department of Human Services (WDHS) were committed and engaged in the change process. Working with the DMC Resource Center and community groups, the MYFI initiative undertook a planning and consensus building period of nearly one year preceding implementation. Resources were allocated for technical assistance and evaluation through the DMC Resource Center. A local collaboration, The Community Initiative for Native Children and Families (CINCF), grew out of local community organizing efforts of the Native American community in Woodbury County. This group began holding regular meetings for all interested parties in the area and became the main communications hub through which diverse partners were able to contribute to the implementation plan for MYFI in Sioux City.

The Woodbury County efforts began to gain support, recognition, and funds to further facilitate the community changes taking place. Organizations such as The Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare (a collaboration of the Center for the Study of Social Policy, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Initiative, Casey Family Services, The Marguerite Casey Foundation, The Race Matters Consortium, and the Black Administrators in Child Welfare) identified Woodbury County as one of nine "Promising Practices" sites (Jones, 2006). As a result, the Alliance, whose mission is to create a child welfare system that is free of structural racism and that benefits all children, families, and communities, brought resources, national attention, and additional technical support to the project. Communications between the Alliance and CINCF resulted in the development of a larger, trusted collaboration with additional resources.

With the DMC and MYFI work as a foundation, several initiatives capitalized on the progress being made. Governor Chet Culver signed Executive Order # 5 in October 2007 establishing a state Youth Race and Detention Task Force in addition to a statewide DMC Committee which had been active in reducing DMC in the juvenile justice system since 2000. The Annie E. Casey Foundation committed to developing a Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative at the 2007 Iowa DMC Conference and JDAI was implemented in late 2008 focusing on further reducing the use of detention. In 2009, the Casey Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Human Services and DMC Resource Center implemented an initiative to reduce disparities in the child welfare system called the Breakthrough Series Collaboration. (3)

As CINCF expanded over the years, members identified a need to strategically identify partners in efforts to better meet the needs of Native American children and families in Woodbury County by strengthening community supports and increasing linkages across service delivery systems. In a regularly scheduled meeting, ecomaps were developed to illustrate relationships in the community of member and nonmember agencies throughout the county. Figures 7, 8, and 9 below show ecomaps reflecting the past (1995), present, and goals for the future. Solid lines represent positive relationships and broken lines represent tenuous relationships in each figure. Arrows indicate directionality of the relationships. Line thickness is used to indicate the strength of the relationship, whether positive or negative.

Through examination of figure 7 and 8, from 1995 to the present, the perception of strong positive relationships throughout the county grew significantly. To move the community toward the ideal in figure 9A, at the time of the development of the ecomaps there was recognition of the need for the development of strong relationships as well as the creation of an action plan to expand efforts to engage, maintain, and develop relationships among local organizations.

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DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

Organizations in general, but in particular child welfare agencies, need to develop instruments to measure change. These instruments can be used to monitor and provide feedback on issues related to disproportionality and disparities and achieving racial equity. Progress on several dimensions has been measured in Woodbury County through the use of these tools.

Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool

The underlying assumption of the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool is that it is critical for any community or organization to more clearly define and assess the components of the issue in order to effectively implement a strategy to understand the factors that contribute to disproportionality and create racial equity within the system. The Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool provides a framework for examination of numerous components that influence change and can be used to measure the progress in each. Through the use of the Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool, Woodbury County has learned a great deal about how the diverse members working to better meet the needs of Native American children and families have thought about contributing factors and some of the challenges that need to be overcome to serve them better. Ongoing assessments and review of the findings within the group will continue to move the effort forward.

Race Equity Scorecard

Woodbury County continues to be a location in which Native Americans from many tribes reside; hence the challenges that arise are unique to the locality. Disproportionality and disparities have decreased by approximately one-third since the beginning of the work; however, challenges remain for Native American children and families who face involvement with the child welfare system. Through the use of deflective efforts and strengthening the community at the front end of the system to reduce entries, along with the County's Native Unit working closely to assist children, families, and tribes to achieve permanence for the children, efforts have shown progress in Woodbury County.

Ecomaps

CINCF has been a national leader in the development of partners at the local, state, and national level to better meet the needs of children and families. To date, they have successfully pooled resources to strengthen the Native American community members in Woodbury County through housing, employment, and other resources as well as increased prevention efforts and work to bridge relationships between members of numerous Native American tribes and various county and state agencies to better meet their needs. While Woodbury County continues to have challenges as its residents work to better meet the needs of Native children and families, it continues to be a model for academics, professional agencies, and communities merging perspectives to collaboratively develop solutions.

REFERENCES

Concannon, K. W. (2003). The redesign of Iowa's child welfare and juvenile justice system: Better results for kids in the 21st century. Des Moines: Iowa Department of Human Services.

Danna Fabella, Sandra Slappey, Brad Richardson, Anita Light, and Susan Christie (2007) Disproportionality: Developing a Public Agency Strategy. Located March 1 at http://www.napcwa.org/DDT/ddt_main.asp.

Disproportionality Diagnostic Tool (2007) located March 3 at http://www.napcwa.org/DDT/ddt_main.asp).

Derezotes, D., Richardson, B., Bear King, C., Rembert, J. & Pratt, B. (2008). Evaluating Multi-systemic Efforts to Impact Disproportionality through Key Decision Points. Child Welfare Journal, Issue 2, 2008 Special Issue: Overrepresentation of Minority Youth in Care Washington D.C.: Child Welfare League of America

Hartman, A. (1995). Diagrammatic assessment of family relationships. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 1, 111-122.

Hill, R.B. (2007). An Analysis of Racial/Ethnic Disproportionality and Disparity at the National, State and County Levels . Washington, DC: Casey Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Hill, R.B. (2006). Synthesis of research on disproportionality in child welfare: an update. Washington, DC: Casey Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Iowa Department of Human Rights, Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Juvenile Justice Advisory Council (2009). JJDP Act Formula Grant Application and Three-Year Comprehensive Plan (March 2009).

Jones, Ernestine (2006). Places to Watch: Promising Practices to Address Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare Services. Paper prepared for The Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Equity.

McPhatter, A.R., & T.L. Ganaway (2003). Beyond the rhetoric: strategies for implementing culturally effective practice with children, families, and communities. Child Welfare, 83(2).

National Data Analysis System (2005). Children of color in the child welfare system. Retrieved February 18, 2008, from http://ndas.cwla.org/research_info/minority_child/ National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice DMC Resource Center. DMC Facts and Figures. Retrieved April 23, 2009, from http:/www.uiowa.edu/~nrfcp/dmcrc/facts_and_figures/shtml

National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice MYFI Initiative. Retrieved April 23, 2009, from http:/www.uiowa.edu/~nrfcp/dmcrc/myfi/shtml

Pope, Carl E. & Feyerherm, William (1990). Minorities and the Juvenile Justice System. Washington D.C: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved August 20, 2010 from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/minor.pdf

Richardson, B., Graf, N., Kleinschmit-Rembert, J., Gordan, J. (2006). Minority Youth and Families Initiative (MYFI) Evaluation of the Woodbury County Demonstration Project. Iowa City: IA: DMC Resource Center, University of Iowa School of Social Work, National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice.

Richardson, Brad. (2005a). Community interventions: Reducing over-representation in Iowa's juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Washington D.C.: Child Welfare League of America, The Link, 4(2), 1-10.

Richardson, Brad. (2005b). Evaluation of the Minority Youth and Families Initiative (MYFI) Demonstration Projects. Iowa City: IA: DMC Resource Center, University of Iowa School of Social Work, National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice.

Richardson, Brad, & McFall-Jean, Nancy. 2005. Eradicating disparities: Iowa's efforts to eliminate over-representation in juvenile justice, child welfare, and the education systems. Washington D.C.: National Association of Social Workers, Intersections, (Fall): 8-14

Shaw, Terry, V. ; Putnam-Hornstein, Emily; Magruder, Joseph; and Needell, Barbara (2008). Measuring Disparity in Child Welfare. Child Welfare Journal, Issue 2, 2008 Special Issue: Overrepresentation of Minority Youth in Care Washington D.C.: Child Welfare League of America.

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Wells, S. J., Merritt, L. M., & Briggs, H. E. (2009). Bias, racism and evidence-based practice: The case for more focused development of the child welfare evidence base. Children and Youth Services Review, 31 (11), 1160-1172).

Wiig, J., & Tuell, J. (2005). Guidebook for juvenile justice and child welfare system coordination and integration: A framework for improved outcomes. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America Press.

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(1) Disproportionality is used to refer to the over-representation of a certain group (i.e. race) and is the percent experiencing a unique event (e.g., foster care) compared their percent of the population.

(2) Disparities, sometimes referred to as relative rates, refer to the representation of a group as a rate compared to the representation of another group as a rate; for example, the rate per thousand of African American children in foster care compared to rate per thousand of white children in foster care.

(3) The collaboration began with then Child Welfare Director Mary Nelson and Gail Barber, Director of the Court Improvement Project, along with a group of committed individuals from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Iowa Department of Human Services and DMC Resource Center. These leaders included Susan Ault, Tracey Campfield, Rebecca Jones and Kerrin Sweet of the Casey Foundation. Wendy Rickman was Service Area Manager in charge of MYFI implementation in Des Moines and became the Iowa Child Welfare Director in 2010. Five other Service Area Managers were involved in BSC planning including Evan Klink, Marc Baty, Gary Lippe, Tom Bouska and Pat Penning (who was the Service Area Manager in charge of implementation of MYFI in Sioux City).
Table 1
Sphere--Individual

Assessment                  PCWA              Community

Domain                 1      2      3     1     2      3

Strategy               43%    60%    60%   19%   38%    71%
Culture                88%    71%    90%   44%   90%    79%
Policy                 100%   100%   60%   38%   60%    29%
Legal System           86%    67%    45%   35%   50%    36%
Training & Education   25%    50%    40%   11%   0%     7%
Communication          75%    71%    50%   33%   80%    57%
Resources              75%    78%    75%   30%   67%    86%
Practice               74%    94%    83%   26%   46%    46%
Economic Issues        56%    100%   50%   38%   43%    43%
Data/Technology        33%    100%   50%   13%   50%    57%
Personnel/People       100%   100%   80%   50%   100%   86%
Overall                70%    79%    63%   31%   57%    50%
Assessment                  Total

Domain                 1     2      3

Strategy               26%   46%    50%
Culture                58%   82%    85%
Policy                 55%   78%    47%
Legal System           50%   56%    41%
Training & Education   15%   25%    27%
Communication          46%   76%    53%
Resources              44%   71%    79%
Practice               40%   65%    68%
Economic Issues        42%   57%    47%
Data/Technology        18%   67%    53%
Personnel/People       64%   100%   82%
Overall                42%   66%    58%

Table 2 Sphere--Society

Assessment                   PCWA            Community

Domain                 1      2      3     1     2     3

Strategy               100%   100%   70%   50%   60%   57%
Culture                54%    91%    37%   29%   50%   48%
Policy                 55%    75%    60%   44%   67%   29%
Legal System           13%    6%     38%   17%   29%   54%
Training & Education   9%     44%    25%   17%   19%   43%
Communica tion         60%    81%    55%   8%    33%   50%
Resources              70%    63%    72%   36%   65%   60%
Practice               58%    58%    57%   26%   25%   43%
Economic Issues        75%    70%    47%   34%   33%   24%
Data/Technology        25%    80%    60%   22%   60%   43%
Personnel/People       100%   100%   90%   44%   60%   71%
Overall                54%    75%    53%   28%   44%   46%
Assessment                  Total

Domain                 1     2     3

Strategy               65%   80%   65%
Culture                38%   72%   41%
Policy                 57%   71%   47%
Legal System           15%   43%   44%
Training & Education   13%   26%   32%
Communica tion         33%   56%   53%
Resources              46%   64%   67%
Practice               36%   42%   51%
Economic Issues        46%   61%   37%
Data/Technology        25%   78%   53%
Personnel/People       64%   80%   82%
Overall                36%   59%   50%

Table 3
Sphere--System

Assessment                   PCWA             Community

Domain                 1      2      3     1     2     3

Strategy               100%   88%    67%   33%   58%   48%
Culture                73%    82%    45%   37%   77%   61%
Policy                 100%   83%    65%   25%   60%   36%
Legal System           25%    30%    45%   11%   11%   36%
Training & Education   18%    67%    43%   22%   42%   32%
Communication          47%    87%    60%   19%   50%   54%
Resources              58%    57%    53%   30%   33%   52%
Practice               69%    84%    51%   18%   36%   47%
Economic Issues        41%    87%    45%   28%   27%   33%
Data/Technology        63%    100%   50%   38%   13%   50%
Personnel/People       56%    73%    50%   46%   73%   61%
Overall                63%    77%    52%   28%   46%   46%
Assessment                  Total

Domain                 1     2     3

Strategy               56%   70%   59%
Culture                47%   79%   51%
Policy                 50%   69%   53%
Legal System           15%   21%   41%
Training & Education   21%   54%   24%
Communication          32%   67%   57%
Resources              38%   42%   53%
Practice               34%   58%   50%
Economic Issues        39%   51%   40%
Data/Technology        46%   46%   50%
Personnel/People       48%   73%   54%
Overall                39%   59%   50%

Table 4
Woodbury County Racial Equity Scorecard Percentages,
Disproportionality Rate, Rate per Thousand and Disparity
Ratio Indices by Race for Child Placements in Out-of
Home Care in Woodbury County FY 2006 (1)

                      Estimated        Number of     Disproportion
      Race/          Population       Children in       Rate (3)
    Ethnicity      (0-17 yrs) (2)    1st Placement
                                       in Out of
                                       Home Care
                                    (unduplicated)

Native American        752 (2.8%)     111 (15.4%)         5.5
Asian                  792 (2.9%)      11 (1.5%)           .5
Black                1,219 (4.5%)      64 (8.9%)           2
White              19,696 (72.8%)     440 (60.9%)          .8
Hispanics           4,631 (17.1%)      13 (1.8%)           .1
All Children (6)    27,090 (100%)         723             n/a

                       Rate       Disparity
      Race/             per       Ratio (5)
    Ethnicity      Thousand (4)

Native American         148           7
Asian                   14            <1
Black                   53            2
White                   22            1
Hispanics                3            <1
All Children (6)        27           n/a

(1) Child Welfare Data obtained from Iowa Department of Human
Services January 10, 2007

(2) Population Estimates for January 1-December 31, 2005,
obtained for children 1-17 years of age in Woodbury, County,
Iowa, from the OJJDP Easy Access to Juvenile Profiles @
http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/ezapop/default.asp .

(3) The Disproportionality Rate is a comparison of the percentage
of children of a particular race or ethnicity in the child
welfare system to the percentage of the same group in the general
population.

(4) The Rate per Thousand is the number of children of a
particular race or ethnicity that are represented in the child
welfare system for every 1000 of the same race or ethnicity of
children in the general population.

(5) The Disparity Ratio is the comparison of a race or ethnicity
to another race or ethnicity--in this table, comparisons are
made to white children.

(6) Hispanic data is gathered as ethnicity data. All other counts
are measured as race counts. If a child is identified as Hispanic
they will not appear in race counts. The result is an
unduplicated count.

(7) The total of all children is a number obtained by combining
American Indian, Asian/PI, Black, White, Hispanic and all other
children not otherwise identified through these races/ethnicities,
As there is no "other" row, the total will be greater than the sum of
the five categories
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