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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Public invited to summit on racial disproportionality in child welfare system; Louisville meeting is part of 3-year-old study

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, January 23, 2008  
Contact Information:  Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180, ext. 4014; or Vikki Franklin, (502) 564-7042  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2008) – Jefferson County residents are invited to a community summit this week to discuss racial disproportionality in the child welfare system.

“Race, Community and Child Welfare Initiative: Addressing the Crisis in Jefferson County,” is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Metro United Way, 334 E. Broadway.

The meeting is sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS).

The forum enables community members to hear local data on the overrepresentation of African American children and families involved with child protective services, and share their own stories and suggestions for addressing the issue.

The DCBS Jefferson Service Region and CHFS’ Office of Quality Management have studied race and child welfare since 2005. The community child welfare system includes schools, courts, juvenile justice, health care, neighbors and other advocates for children.

In April 2007, CHFS announced the Community, Race and Child Welfare Initiative, which targets 11 counties where African-American children are represented in state foster care at more than one and a half times the census rate.

In these counties, including Jefferson, CHFS is expanding the use of parent advocates to mentor families and collaborating with state universities to provide continuing opportunities for anti-racism education so that more African-American families can stay together.

Those planning to attend the summit should contact Jennifer Holeman at (502) 595-3216 or

For more information about the initiative, log on to or

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Last Updated 1/23/2008