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State Leaders Acknowledge Racial Imbalance in CP System

Wednesday, January 10, 2018  
Posted by: Laura Fenstermaker
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from KSTP

Mothers, attorneys and advocates are calling for a special oversight committee to better balance what they see as racial disproportionality in the state's child protection system.

"On Sept. 5, 2015, my youngest child ... suffered a life-threatening event and was misdiagnosed with abusive head trauma," said DeClara Tripp as she testified Tuesday in front of the state's Legislative Task Force on Child Protection. "It has since been determined that I, nor my children, contributed to this injury."

Trapp broke down in tears after sharing her story.

RELATED: Lawsuit Alleging Failure within State, Hennepin County Child Protection System Heads to Federal Court

She testified that even after winning her court trial she has yet to be reunited with her now 3-year-old son.

"I think we've all been offended by what we've heard happen to you, dear," said Rep. Linda Slocum.

"We really are before you not to place blame or point fingers, but to really ask for legislative oversight and some safeguards in place to protect our community from what's been happening," said the chair of the NAACP's Committee on Child Protection, Kelis Houston, as she presented her argument for a separate oversight committee to address racial imbalances to the task force.

Census demographics show 13 percent of the people living in Hennepin County are Black. Yet, according to Hennepin County, African-American children make up 37 percent of the kids in the county's foster care system.

"We have very low occurrences of actual abuse against our children, but very high rates of involvement in child protection and out-of-home placement," Houston said.

Video of the story


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