The US Census provides detailed population data every 10 years (2000, 2010); therefore the years 2001-2009 and 2011 need to be 'filled in.' The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) publishes official estimates for these non-Census years: 1) for all occupied housing units within each county, and 2) for population (e.g., for POC purposes, children) estimates for specific age groups within counties. For POC's Data Portal Investigations & Assessment and In-Home Services Trend data, data is 'filled in" for the non-decennial years using data for households only. For POC's Data Portal Out-of-Home Care Trend data, to obtain the race/ethnicity, gender, and age of the population/children,100% census data from 2000 and 2010 is used as a base from which to develop equations that divide the OFM household and population estimates into the appropriate subpopulations (e.g., number of households with Hispanic children under 6 years in Spokane DCFS Office Group; number of male American Indian/Alaskan Native children under 5 years of age in King county).
Racial Disproportionality and Disparity
The overrepresentation of children of color in a system compared to their numbers in the general population is referred to as racial disproportionality. The term disparity is used when the observed differences in treatment are unnecessary, avoidable, unfair, or unjust. In 2007, the Washington State legislature required the formation of the Washington State Racial Disproportionality Advisory Committee to explore the root causes of and make recommendations for remediation of the racial disproportionality and disparity in child welfare in Washington State. See the third annual report of the Advisory Committee (March 2012).
The federal government requires state agencies to demonstrate that reasonable efforts have been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of a child from his or her home and to make it possible for a child who has been placed in out-of-home care to be reunited with his or her family. Reasonable efforts must also be made to achieve permanent plans for the child in care.
See Family Reunification.