I had the AFCARS raw dataset from 2004 open on my competer, so I ran an analysis to see if I could answer my own earlier question regarding rates of kinship care among black and white children in foster care. Here's what I found (again, all stats from 2004):So basically the tendency of black grandparents and other kin support network members to take in children isn't that overwhelming. I knew it was a relatively more common occurence among blacks than whites, but as you say, not by much. Nowhere near enough to explain the 'abandonment' gap--it's not as though the non-relative abandonment rates are similar between blacks and whites.
Of the 94,483 black children discharged from foster care, 12,860, or 13%, were discharged to a relative guardian. Of the 182,941 white children discharged from foster care in 2004, 20,453, or 11%, were discharged to a relative guardian.Of the 15,087 black children adopted from foster care, 4077, or 27%, were adopted by a relative. Of the 29,244 white children adopted from foster care, 5861, or 20%, were adopted by a relative.
Of the 279,421 black kids living in foster care for some portion of the year, 69,888 or 25% were living with relatives. Of the 474,734 white children living in foster care for some portion of the year, 101,300, or 21%, were living with relatives.
So black children getting adopted from foster care are somewhat more likely to be adopted by relatives than white kids (27% vs. 20%), black kids exiting foster care are slightly more likely to be discharged to a relative guardian than white kids (13% to 11%), and black kids in foster care are slightly more likely to be living with relatives than white kids (25% vs. 21%). The differences support the hypothesis that blacks are more likely to utilize kinship care networks, but not by a lot, at least in regard to the foster care system.
The table below presents an index of the frequency of having a child placed in foster care by major racial/ethnic catergory in the US. Only domestic forfeitures are included (international adoptions are excluded). It is computed by simply taking the percentage of children of a group entering foster care and dividing it by that group's percentage of the national population. Adjustments for unknown or two-plus race are made in both cases; these categories are excluded from the analysis. A 1.00 score indicates the national average:
For HBD-realists, the relative 'performances' aren't terribly surprising. The likelihood of raising one's own kids isn't the elusive desirable attribute that correlates inversely with IQ. So the search will continue.
The adoption data comes from the US Department of Health and Human Services, which aggregates data submitted by states over a period covering six months. The data are sometimes incomplete or must be revised and consequently the total figures are estimates. All the numbers are from '06.