Report

Understanding the Over-Representation of Black Children in Ontario Child Welfare Services

2022

Understanding the Over-Representation of Black Children in Ontario Child Welfare Services

3 months ago 3 months ago Published by
This report was published by One Vision One Voice & the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.

HERE’S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:

This report describes maltreatment-related investigations conducted in Ontario in 2018 that involved Black children and compares these investigations to those involving white children. These analyses present data from the Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2018 (OIS-2018), the sixth provincial study of maltreatment-related investigations conducted in the province. The report was prepared by the OIS-2018 Research Team at the request of One Vision One Voice, a program of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

Key findings in the report include the following:

  • Compared to white children, Black children/families are
    • 2.2 times as likely to be investigated
    • 2.5 times as likely to have their case substantiated
    • 1.7 times as likely to have their case referred to receive ongoing/longer-term services and supports
    • 2.5 times as likely to be placed in out-of-home care during the investigation
  • Schools and police were more likely to refer Black children than white children in child maltreatment-related investigations (43% vs. 28% and 27% vs. 23%, respectively)

Contrary to what is often assumed by the general public, the data also revealed that child welfare workers who investigated families were less likely to note at least one child functioning concern in Black children compared to white children. Noted concerns could include an intellectual disability, a mental or physical health issue, or other challenges to one’s wellbeing. They were also less likely to note at least one primary caregiver risk factor in investigations involving Black families compared to white families. Family caregiver risk factors could include lack of social supports, cognitive impairment, or struggles with addiction or mental health.

Bonnie, N., & Facey, K. (2022). Understanding the Over-Representation of Black Children in Ontario Child Welfare Services. One Vision One Voice & Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. https://www.oacas.org/2022/06/new-report-reveals-the-reality-of-anti-black-racism-in-ontario-child-welfare-service-delivery/

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