Equal Treatment Does Not Lead To Equity

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Consulting Services and Events

Joyce James Listens To A Question From A Recc Member

Joyce James listens to a question from an RECC member. At left is RECC co-chair, Alan Sputz, Deputy Commissioner of Family Court Legal Services, ACS, and committee member Lakisha Adams, Program Evaluator, ACS.

Expert Joyce James Addresses NYC ACS RECC Committee

On December 5, 2013, Joyce James, a national expert in the field of racial equity and cultural competency, spoke to the ACS Racial Equity and Cultural Competence Committee on her work in Texas as well as with other child welfare systems nationwide.

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Child Welfare

Ms. James presented data which showed that in 2007-2009, African Americans were twice as likely to have poor outcomes in every system, including child welfare, when compared to Hispanics and whites. To improve outcomes for all children, the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services implemented the Texas Model which was based on 1) Data Driven Strategies; 2) Leadership Development; 3) Development of a Culturally Competent Workforce; 4) Community Engagement; 5) Cross Systems Collaborations; 6) Training Defined by Anti-Racist Principles; 7) and an Understanding of the History of Institutional Racism and the Impact on Poor Communities and Communities of Color. This led to a decrease in removal rates of children.

African American Executive Talking to Team

Following her presentation, there was a spirited discussion with RECC members moderated by RECC Co-Chairs Alan Sputz, Deputy Commissioner of Family Court Legal Services, and Sandra Killett, Executive Director of Child Welfare Organizing Project on racial equity and disproportionality in child welfare in New York. Ms. James said it was important that staff at every level are aware of their roles in contributing to the advancement of racial equity in their work. At the same time, she noted, leadership should allow staff the confidence to share freely about inequities they encounter in their work so that it can be effectively addressed.

From left Jordan Margolis, Christiana Best, Rolando Bini, Sandra Killett, Lakisha Adams, Alexis Howard, Sandy Barnabe, Wendy Hill

Joyce James (fourth from left) with members of the RECC: From left Jordan Margolis, Mental Health Consultant; Christiana Best, Senior Advisor for Child Welfare Policy and Training Implementation, ACS; Rolando Bini, Executive director of Parents in Action; Sandra Killett, Executive Director of Child Welfare Organizing Project and RECC co-chair; Lakisha Adams; Alexis Howard, NYC Social Work Education Consortium Coordinator at University at Albany; Sandy Barnabe, , National Association of Social Workers, NYC Chapter; Wendy Hill, assistant to Joyce James and Alan Sputz.

Hands of People of Different Races

The Texas Model

Ms. James, who began her career 33 years ago as a Child Protective Services Caseworker, held various leadership positions including Assistant Commissioner, Texas Child Protective Services, Deputy Commissioner, Texas Department of Family & Protective Services, before being appointed as the Associate Deputy Executive Commissioner for the Center for Elimination of Dis proportionality and Disparities (Cede) in Texas. Under her leadership, Texas became the first state to establish legislation requiring Child Protective Specialist to confront disproportionality, resulting in development of the Texas Model for addressing disproportionality and disparities. 

The creation of the Cede was one of the measures adopted by Texas as a way of addressing disproportionality and disparities. Ms. James is currently the CEO and President of Joyce James Consulting.

Recent and Upcoming Consulting Services & Events

NASA Think Tank Symposium on Achieving Racial Equity: Calling The Social Work Profession To Action, November 2013, Washington, DC: Planning Committee and Facilitator of Panel on Racial Equity Principles

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Conference: July 23-26, Pre Conference Institute on Institutionalized Racism

2014 NASWTX Conference

2014 NABSW Steering Committee Training

Texans Care For Children, Racial Equity Training for Mental Health Workers

Eighth Annual Louis Gregory Symposium on Race Unity April 3, 2014, Keynote Speaker Campus of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, TX

2014 National CASA Conference: Keynote and Poverty Workshop

Consultation on implementation model for racial equity and disproportionality work in Illinois DCFS

Equity Training Rockland & Ulster Counties in New York

Equity Consultation and TA Illinois DCFS

2014-2015 Fort Worth ISD Training & Technical Assistance on Leading for Racial Equity