Monday, June 25, 2007

New group takes aim at racism against kids

Racism -- sometimes unintended -- is why African-American children in Fayette County are sent to foster care, jailed and suspended from school at far higher rates than white children, according to child welfare leaders who gathered at a summit at the University of Kentucky.

For years, the disparity has prompted studies and task forces in Lexington. But newly released statistics have put the problem into focus and led to the creation of the Fayette County Race Community and Child Welfare Initiative:

...Members of the new group, who met Wednesday at UK, promise action instead of talk. The new initiative calls on everyone from neighbors and business owners, physicians and school principals, social workers and judges to consider themselves part of the child welfare system and to think about their perceptions of African-American families before they bring a child to the attention of authorities.

"For the first time that I know of," said Catherine Warner, one of the leaders of the initiative, "we are talking about racism, not calling it diversity or multiculturalism."

This from the Herald-Leader.

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