African American Children in the Modern Child Welfare System: A Legacy of the Flemming Rule

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Children of color throughout America-and especially those who are African American-are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. This article links this current child welfare condition to the most significant but little known ruling in the historical development of the modern child welfare system-the Flemming Rule. The Flemming Rule, although intended to be constructive, was negatively implemented in a way that has had long-term serious consequences for African American children and their families. Implications for future policies are discussed.