As a home for young people from all races, genders, creeds, and socioeconomic backgrounds, Boys & Girls Haven recognizes our ethical responsibility to fight the continued racial discrimination and social injustices that repeat themselves across our communities every day.
This is a very relevant and specific battle in Kentucky as we continue to face a significantly disproportionate representation of children of color entering the Kentucky foster care system.
“All children need safe homes and loving families to thrive. Yet numerous studies have found that once involved in the child welfare system, Black children are much more likely to be removed from their homes than their White peers. The disproportionate representation of children of color in the foster care system is driven by a number of factors, including socioeconomic status and family structure, as well as bias and structural inequities. Poverty in and of itself does not account for the racial disparities in foster care.”https://kyyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2019_CountyDataBook.pdf
On average, children of color are also placed in more restrictive foster care placements than white young people.
“Black children are more likely to be placed in institutional placements (such as group homes or residential treatment facilities) than their White peers. This is troubling because these group settings often exacerbate the trauma youth experience from being separated from their parents. Black children are less likely than their White counterparts to be placed with a relative (kin) or close family friend (fictive kin) for foster care, though research shows kinship care helps minimize the trauma of removal, maintain vital connections, and often keeps sibling groups together.”https://kyyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2019_CountyDataBook.pdf
So what do we mean when we say BLACK LIVES MATTER? We mean that the lives of the black and brown young people and families in our programs matter. We mean the lives of our black and brown foster parents and employees matter. We mean the lives of our black and brown neighbors matter.
Boys & Girls Haven is committed to continue learning and growing. We are actively engaged in evaluating our standards, policies, and training to ensure we are advocating for racial equality and justice to the best of our ability.
We see you. We are you. We stand with you.