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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Public invited to summit on racial disproportionality in child welfare system; Paducah meeting is part of 3-year-old study

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, January 30, 2008  
Contact Information:  Media Contacts: Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180, ext. 4014; or Vikki Franklin, (502) 564-7042  


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2008) – McCracken County residents are invited to a community summit this week to discuss racial disproportionality in the child welfare system.

“Race, Community and Child Welfare Initiative: Addressing the Issue in McCracken County,” is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Robert Cherry Civic Center, 2701 Park Ave., Paducah.

The meeting is sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS).

The forum enables community members to hear local data on the overrepresentation of African-American children and families involved with child protective services, and share their own stories and suggestions for addressing the issue.

CHFS began its study of race and child welfare in 2005. The community child welfare system includes schools, courts, juvenile justice, health care, neighbors and other advocates for children.

In April 2007, CHFS announced the Community, Race and Child Welfare Initiative, which targets 11 counties where African-American children are represented in state foster care at more than one and a half times the census rate. African-American children in McCracken County are represented in out-of-home care at a rate of more than three times their representation in the census population. 

In the targeted counties, including McCracken, CHFS is expanding the use of parent advocates to mentor families and collaborating with state universities to provide continuing opportunities for anti-racism education so that more African-American families can stay together.

For more information about the summit, contact Renee Buckingham at (270) 247-5126.

To learn more about the state initiative, log on to http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/raceandcommunity.htm or http://www.jointheconversation.net/.

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Last Updated 1/30/2008