Author Affiliation

Department of Social Work, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Document Type

Policy Advocacy Brief

Publication Date


Issue Statement/Executive Summary

Parents with disabilities are disproportionately involved in the child welfare system. This is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the basic human rights of dignity and autonomy. Assessment tools and data collection systems currently utilized by the system fuel discrimination and provide inconsistent reporting. Minnesota needs to implement child welfare practices that center the goals of the parent, fully utilize informal and formal community supports, and make creative accommodations to reduce the number of children removed from their parents on the basis of ability. A lack of existing data indicates that more research is needed, particularly regarding the extent to which parents with disabilities who are also racial minorities are affected by the child welfare system.


Social Work



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