It Takes A Village:
Caring for Our Community’s Black Kids
In Washington state as of 2016, 16% of children in foster care were Black/Multi-Racial Black. But only 6.5% of foster parents identify as Black.
Washington State is facing a crisis-level shortage of Black/African American foster families. Amara is working to regularly bring together members of the African American community to learn more about how best to support Black children in foster care and the need for more Black families. We do this work through:
- Hosting It Takes a Village events each year in Seattle and Tacoma. These events are closed conversations for folks who identify as Black/African American to come together to build relationships, learn together, and explore solutions.
- Our African American Outreach Advisory Council, which was created in 2017 to support Amara’s outreach work in the Black community. The Council meets 4 times a year.
- Presentations to community groups and organizations about the experience of African American kids in the foster care system and the urgent need for more Black families to foster.
Why is this important?
Culture Matters. A child’s cultural identity is a crucial part of a child’s overall development. Black families have the inherent life experiences to cultivate and support these cultural needs. Given that, we do our best to educate and support transracial families to ensure they learn the importance of culture; but we cannot “teach” the firsthand knowledge of living Black in our communities.
Historical Context. We acknowledge the valid wariness among some members of the Black community given the past and current racial inequities in the child welfare system. As of January 2017, Black children were 2.2 times more likely to enter the foster care system than their white counterparts. We hope to engage folks in these important conversations and encourage them to engage in the system and advocate for change from within the system. Children of color are being placed into this system by no fault of their own, and they need someone to advocate for their needs and systems change.
It Takes A Village in the News:
Read Trey's article in Youth Today about Amara's African-American Outreach