Monday, April 15, 2024

Minnesota is being criticized for reportedly treating Black children and families unfairly in its child welfare system

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The NAACP branch in Minneapolis and Children’s Rights, a group that supports kids, have told the US Department of Health and Human Services that Minnesota is treating Black families unfairly in its child welfare system.

They say Minnesota is using federal money to watch and split up Black families in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. They think this breaks Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says that programs getting federal money can’t treat people unfairly because of their race.

The complaint says Minnesota got over $232 million from the federal government in 2020 for child protection.

The NAACP’s president, Derrick Johnson, said that using federal money to discriminate against Black families is wrong.

The complaint also says that between 2019 and 2021, there were more reports about Black kids than white kids in schools and social services in Minnesota. Even though Hennepin County is mostly white, Black kids make up a big part of the reports there.

In Ramsey County, Black kids make up a big part of the reports too, even though most people there are white.

The complaint says that in Minnesota, Black kids are more likely to be investigated and taken away from their families compared to white kids.

When CNN asked the Minnesota Department of Human Services about the complaint, they said they’re working to make the child protection system better and fairer. They didn’t say much else.

The complaint also says that in the last few years, Black kids were more likely to be taken away from their families in Hennepin and Ramsey counties compared to the rest of Minnesota and the US.

The NAACP’s Johnson said they’ve let Minnesota know they’re watching. Now, it’s up to the US Department of Health and Human Services to investigate.

The director of advocacy and policy at Children’s Rights, Shereen White, said it’s time to stop taking kids away from their families just because of their race.

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