Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago (2008). Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform.

This paper aims to stimulate discussion within the child welfare and juvenile justice fields about the role of race and ethnicity in both systems. Over time,the nomenclature used to describe disproportionality and disparity has evolved, but it is not always clear how key concepts relate to one another, especially when the discussion involves both systems simultaneously. The paper starts by exploring the language used to describe the extent of racial and ethnic differences in the involvement of children in the two systems, and then offers a common language that is intended to clarifythe meaning of the terms so that a more consistent conversation is possible.