• Text Resize A A A
  • Print Print
  • Share Share on facebook Share on twitter Share

Protection from Discrimination in Child Welfare Activities

The child welfare system is a group of services designed to promote the well-being of children by ensuring safety, achieving permanency, and strengthening families to care for their children successfully. While the primary responsibility for child welfare services rests with the states, the Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau administers funding for child welfare agencies and state court systems and provides guidance and technical assistance to child welfare agencies regarding child welfare law and policy.   

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing civil rights laws that apply to state, local and federally funded child welfare agencies and state court systems.These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age in the delivery of child welfare services:

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI protects people of every race, color, or national origin from discrimination in programs, activities, and services administered by child welfare agencies and state court systems.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Title IX protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) in federally assisted education programs. 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination by child welfare agencies and state court systems. Qualified individuals with disabilities can include children, parents, legal guardians, relatives, other caretakers, foster and adoptive parents, and individuals seeking to become foster or adoptive parents. 

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975

The Age Act protects individuals of all ages from discrimination in programs and services administered by child welfare agencies and state court systems. 

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

The ADA protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination by child welfare agencies and state court systems. Qualified individuals with disabilities can include children, parents, legal guardians, relatives, other caretakers, foster and adoptive parents, and individuals seeking to become foster or adoptive parents.  The ADA also protects individuals or entities from being denied or excluded from child welfare services, programs or activities because of association with an individual with a disability. 

The Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA)

MEPA, as amended by the Removal of Barriers to Interethnic Adoption Provisions of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in foster care and adoption programs and activities. MEPA prohibits publicly funded child welfare agencies from delaying or denying the placement of a child into foster care or for adoption on the basis of the race, color or national origin of the foster or adoptive parent, or the child, involved. MEPA also prohibits publicly funded child welfare agencies from denying to any individual the opportunity to become a foster or adoptive parent, on the basis of the race, color or national origin of the individual, or of the child, involved.

View Laws and Regulations Enforced by OCR.

Information for Individuals

Disability Fact Sheet

Title VI Factsheet

How to File a Civil Rights Complaint

Information for Providers


 

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on October 19, 2016
Back to Top