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March 29, 2011 > Conference on racial healing in foster care system

Conference on racial healing in foster care system

Submitted By Diane Daniel

Registration is being taken through April 1 for the free conference, "Foster Care Racial Healing," set for April 8 at the Cal State East Bay Oakland Center. Terry Jones, professor emeritus of social work and conference co-chair, will deliver the keynote address, "Racial Healing in the Foster Care System: What's Love Got to do with it."

"The foster care system has not served African American children and families well," said Jones. "There are a disproportionate number of African Americans committed to foster care, they stay in foster care longer than whites, and when they exit, they exit to a situation of turmoil and uncertainty."

He believes that the foster care system has performed as "home breakers," rather than "homebuilders."

"We can and should do better than we have done. From a policy perspective we need to move from a 'blaming the victim' approach to a recognition that our institutions are failing African American youth, families and communities," Jones said.

He will stress the need to both recognize the reality of class conflict and inequality, while formulating better survival strategies for foster care youth about to age out of the system.

Another presentation will look at an institutional racism analysis of child welfare policies, while Robert Jemerson, head trainer for the Alameda County Independent Living Skills Program, will facilitate the plenary, a panel discussion with questions and answers.

The event luncheon will honor Carol Collins, assistant agency director of the Alameda County Department of Children and Family Services.

The conference is sponsored by Cal State East Bay, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Pivotal Point Youth Services, Alameda County Independent Living Skills Program, Alameda County Social Services Agency and Beyond Emancipation. Call (510) 885-3605 to register.

Foster Care Racial Healing
Friday, April 8
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cal State East Bay Oakland Center
1000 Broadway, suite 109, Oakland
(510) 885-3605

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