Disparity and Disproportionality

Administrative Practices

Administrative Practices plays a critical role in eliminating disparities and reducing 

disproportionality for children, youth and families. Administrative staff members from many areas 

-- including finance, information technology, human resources, and legal -- help implement the 

vision, values and practice model of the agency. They often make critical decisions on behalf of 

the agency that require thoughtful problem solving.

 

To enable the agency’s work in eliminating disparities and reducing disproportionality, the public 

child welfare agency must ensure that administrative staff members first understand the agency’s 

position on the topic through its values, vision and overall strategy. Agencies should give 

administrative staff and program staff an opportunity to talk about the issues of disparity and 

disproportionality through open forums. For instance, the agency can discuss the “well-being” topic 

to include matters of identity, culture and race and engage all staff in exploring how each work 

function of the agency contributes to this goal of public child welfare.

 

The work of creating equity and fairness for clients must first begin in-house with staff. 

Specifically, agencies must have created a fair work culture and climate for all staff. As an 

example, administrative staff must feel that there are true opportunities for growth and 

advancement in the workplace. They should also perceive that staff are treated fairly by agency 

leadership and observe that children, youth and families are treated fairly by agency staff.

 

While administrative staff persons do not interact with children, youth and families as much as 

they do with direct service providers, administrative staff can play a crucial role in helping the 

agency reach equity goals since they work with all aspects of the organization. They are involved 

in carrying out actions and decision-making (e.g., through policies, practices and procedures)

that supports the work of eliminating disparities.

 






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