Parent-child conflict is the most common reason for black girls to get placed outside of their homes into places such as  a group-home or institutionalized facilities. Black girls who are between the ages of 12 and 17, who are involved in the child welfare system, are often times sent to a placement facility due to behavior.

Previously, I worked as a Youth Care Worker for a placement facility located in Mckeesport, PA. For two years, I worked with teenage girls. Most of the girls that were placed at the group-home were black girls ranging anywhere between the ages of 12 and 18. Being defiant towards their parents resulted in why most of them were sent there. For instance, committing truancy and not coming home on multiple occasions resulting in their parents thinking they ran away from home, were the two most concerns on why black girls were sent there.

The problem that black girls face is that most of the time while they are in placement they make their situation worst. Sometimes, they commit negative acts during their stay, causing the court to extend their time. After learning they are not getting released they become discouraged and most of the time they run away. Most black girls run away from placement within the first two weeks of their admission. This makes the problem even worst because eventually they are caught and sent back to another placement and are made to be there even longer.

As an authoritative figure, I have learned that most problems that happen with black girls start at home. The barrier that stands in between preventing her to be placed in a placement is the bridge that is built between that girl and those who are parenting her.

The solution starts at home with the way her parents are raising her. Educators and authoritative figures can also try to be positively influential in showing her the right direction. Parental engagement with her school can help for her to be successful as well.

Please share your opinions and offer feedback on how you think we can lower the percentage of black girls being placed.