State officials have launched the second wave of an initiative to find out why a disproportionate share of kids in foster care are minorities. Roger Munns is a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Human Services. “Of course, the top priority is always to reduce the abuse of kids no matter what their racial background,” Munns says. But he says it’s impotant to address the issue of why there are more minority kids in foster care than there are in the general population. Most of the kids in Iowa who are abused are white, but here minority families are over-represented in the foster care system. “We’re trying to find out the reasons for that and address it,” Munns says. The state is hiring a “Native American liason” who will oversee Native American cases in the foster care system in northwest Iowa. Native American kids acount for less than half a percent of the children in Iowa, yet two percent of the kids in foster care in Iowa are Native American. In September, the state launched an initiative in Polk County and hired a person to oversee African American cases in the foster care system.
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