Report: Minorities more likely to get thrown into Michigan's child welfare system

May 21, 2014

A new report is raising questions about how Michigan's child welfare system treats minorities.

The report finds African-Americans, Latinos, and Native American children are more likely than white children to be removed from their homes.  

“We know that what happens to those kids in those formative years results in either stable or less stable family relationships," says Lynn Jondahl, co-chair of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.
“We know that what happens to those kids in those formative years results in either stable or less stable family relationships," says Lynn Jondahl, co-chair of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Minorities are also twice as likely to age out of the foster care system as whites.

Former State Rep. Lynn Jondahl is one of the co-chairs of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.  

He says the situation is more complicated than just racial bias in the state child welfare system.

“Much of what happens is the product of what happens in local communities. It’s not alone state policy," says Jondahl. 

Jondahl says there’s a pilot program underway in Saginaw County looking at ways to address issues raised in the report.

The project calls for more training for those who work with at-risk families and programs to strengthen families.