UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
WACO -- The Texas Department of Child Services came together today with local leaders to talk about the number of minority children in the state's care. The numbers show the amount of African Americans in the system do not match up with the general population. In Texas, 29 percent of children in the state's care are African American. While African American children only account for 12 percent of the population as whole.
"A lot of these children don't understand why they are not being adopted, and that brings in more anger, more pain and more hurt," said Director of Restoration Haven, Shirley Langston. That's why McLennan County child advocate groups came together to address the problem. They say they need to work harder to get these children in a permanent home where they can thrive.
In McLennan County, about 73 children are waiting to be adopted. Nearly 36 percent of those are African American, and that's more than any other race. They are also more likely to stay in the system and have worse outcomes when they get out. CASA Supervisor, Dede Gordon says, "Everyone needs to realize how many children are in foster care and the needs that they have that are not being met, and, unfortunately, it does go back to race a lot of the time. So we really need to be aware of what happening in our community because it's up to us to make that change and make that difference."
Texas CPS says they hope, at the end of all this, they will be helping more and more African American children have a chance.