Why Are Latinos So Overrepresented in the State Child Welfare System?

Shira Schoennberg

Latino children are more likely than white children to have an open DCF case and more likely to be removed from their homes. In fact, according to the national research organization Child Trends, Latinos were more overrepresented in foster care in Massachusetts than in any other state.  

Advocates for families say the disparities cannot be attributed to higher rates of abuse and neglect in the Latino community. They say the overrepresentation of Latinos is tied to a range of factors, including poverty and cultural bias. And once Latino families are involved in the system, they can face additional barriers that white children do not, like language difficulties.