L.A. County plans ‘blind removal’ pilot to test whether social workers are influenced by race

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Supervisor Holly Mitchell, whose 2nd District stretches from Culver City to Carson, proposed a “blind removal” pilot project. Social workers will not mention race or ethnicity when presenting a child’s case for removal from their home. She is seen in an undated photo. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Supervisor Holly Mitchell, whose 2nd District stretches from Culver City to Carson, proposed a “blind removal” pilot project. Social workers will not mention race or ethnicity when presenting a child’s case for removal from their home. She is seen in an undated photo. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

America’s largest child welfare system will soon test whether race, ethnicity or neighborhood can influence social workers’ decisions to remove children from their homes.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support a pilot project that tests “blind removal,” first tried in Nassau County, N.Y.

Social workers typically have access to an array of information, including a family’s race, when making the difficult decision to place a child in foster care or with a relative.

Five years after race and related factors were eliminated from removal deliberations in Nassau County, 21% of children in foster care were Black, compared with 57% before blind removal.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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