The Push for Racial Equity in Child Welfare: Can Blind Removals Reduce Disproportionality?

E. Jason Baron, Ezra G. Goldstein, Joseph Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conduct the first quantitative analysis of “blind removals,” an increasingly popular reform that seeks to reduce the over-representation of Black children in foster care by eliminating biases in the removal decisions of investigators. We first show that over-representation in most foster care systems is driven by Black children being substantially more likely than White children to be investigated for maltreatment to begin with. Conditional on initial rates of investigation, investigators remove White and Black children similarly. Second, we find no evidence that blind removals impacted the already small racial disparities in the removal decision, but they substantially increased time to removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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