L.A. County’s Department of Children and Family Services will be testing out a strategy called “blind removal” in determining whether a child should be removed from a home and placed with a relative or in foster care in order to protect their safety or well-being. The Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to support a pilot program that would test blind removal in one regional DCFS office, which has yet to be named. Blind removal, first piloted in Nassau County, New York, is a strategy that involves redacting certain information pertaining to race, income, and other related factors from the package of information that a caseworker gets when they are determining whether to remove a child from a home for safety reasons. The idea is that if the caseworker doesn’t know those certain factors, it decreases the chances that the decision is made based on bias, implicit or explicit, and helps ensure that the child’s safety is the main deciding factor.
Today on AirTalk, we’ll explore what “blind removal” is, the results of the Nassau County pilot program and how those lessons can be applied to L.A. County’s pilot program.
Taylor Dudley, administrative director of the Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families at UCLA, which will be working with L.A. County to pilot the blind removal program
Jessica Pryce, director of the Florida Institute for Child Welfare and assistant professor of social work at Florida State University; she published a case study on the Nassau County, New York blind removal program