Disproportionality Addressed By RELE
Black History Month
by Terry Rhodes, D.Min ISSUU
Similar to national racial disproportionality estimates, in
Florida, African American or Black children
account for 30% of youth in out-of-home care,3
despite representing approximately 16% of its child population.4
Disproportionality and disparities have been linked to factors such as
poverty; individual and systemic racial bias and discrimination; systemic factors, such as lack of resources for families of color; and community or neighborhood risk.2,5,6 Policy strategies to reduce racial disproportionality and disparities include:7
The Institute and the Florida Office of Early Learning have partnered
to provide equity training to the 30 Early Learning Coalitions across
the state. Funded through the Preschool Development Grant, the
Racial Equity Learning Exchange (RELE) focuses on using an equity lens to explore the historical foundations of racial inequities, implicit and explicit bias, culturally responsive practices, and policy decision-making. The training series is being provided to regional Coalition leadership staff, lead trainers and coaches, Office of Early Learning staff, and selected partners. Trainings are organized by the
Institute Training Coordinator, Marthea Pitts, and facilitated by
Khatib Waheed, a national leader in racial equity training.
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, and Friday, February 14, 2020, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM,
there will be a two-day Equity Learning Exchange offered to the general public.
To register for this free event visit: bit.ly/37Jv0vI
Questions can be directed to Marthea Pitts: MLPITTS@FSU.EDU
1 Embrella. (2018). Help your African American foster child celebrate Black History Month. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from
2 Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2016). Racial disproportionality and disparity in child welfare. Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/racial_disproportionality.pdf
3 Florida Department of Children and Families. (2020). Children & young adults in out-of-home care – Statewide. Retrieved January 28, 2020 from
4 The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center. (2019). Child population by race in Florida. Retrieved January 28, 2020 from
5 Boyd, R. (2014). African American disproportionality and disparity in child welfare: Toward a comprehensive conceptual framework. Children & Youth Services Review, 37, 15-27.
6 U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2007). African American children in foster care: Additional HHS assistance needed to help states reduce the proportion in care (GAO-07-816). Retrieved from
7 Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare. (2009). Policy actions to reduce racial disproportionality and disparities in child welfare: A scan of eleven states. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute Website: https://ncwwi.org/files/PolicyActionstoReduceRacialDisproportionalityandDisparitiesinChildWelfare.pdf
8 In R. B. Hill (1999) as cited by AdoptUsKids. (n.d.). Working with African American adoptive, foster and kinship families. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from the Florida Center for Child Welfare website:
9 Johnson-Garner, M. Y., & Meyers, S. A. (2003). What factors contribute to the resilience of African American children within kinship care? Child & Youth Care Forum, 32(5), 255-269.
10 AdoptUsKids. (n.d.). Working with African American adoptive, foster and kinship families. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from the Florida Center for Child Welfare website: