Case Example #1

Liliana age 16 was detained from her mother after her 18-year-old brother who was drunk got into a fight with her. Liliana sustained superficial scratches on her arm which her mother treated and dressed after the incident. Ms. Fong, Liliana’s mother, called the police who came and broke up the incident. A CSW from the agency came and investigated and left Liliana with her mother. Further Ms. Fong was directed to keep brother John from the home. Ms. Fong and Liliana identify themselves as Fijian Americans, also categorized as “Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders”.

Three days later two CSWs came back to the Fong home. Some of John’s clothes and shoes were still in the home, although both Ms. Fong and Liliana told the social workers that John was no longer staying in the home. The CSWs then went to the home of two different neighbors who happen to be Fijian as well. The neighbors denied seeing John on the previous three days. The CSWs then told Ms. Fong that they were going to detain Liliana and place her into foster care. Liliana refused to go with them- crying and screaming. They called the police for assistance and 6 police (4 males and 2 females) showed up. Both CSWs and all the police were white. Liliana was handcuffed and put into the police car. She shared all of this information when she met with her attorney, still quite distraught, prior to the initial hearing.

This should be part of a new page accessible via “Reliable Data Sources”  

Asian/Asian American Children in California 

Indicator  Year   Asian/ Asian  American  Children  All Children/Youth  Data Source  
Children/Youth Ages 0-20 in Foster Care (Asian/Pacific Islander)  2018  1.0 (Rate per 1,000)  5.3 (Rate per 1,000)  Webster, D., et al. California Child Welfare Indicators Project Reports. UC Berkeley Center for Social Services Research (Jul. 2019)  

Data that can be highlighted for the Court: 

1.  According to the pew Research Center, Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. and native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are the third fastest-growing demographic.  

2. Just because “underrepresented” does not mean they should be treated less than humanely- “othered” 

API groups comprise 30% of the total immigrant population in the US with a large concentration residing in California. Native Hawaiian and Pacific islander children, according to the Child Welfare information Gateway, are proportionally represented in US foster care, accounting for both 0.2 percent of the total child population and 0.2 percent of children in foster care.  

3. Income and Why John’s clothes might still be in the home 

Brother’s belongings in the home is likely due to economic status of the family who may not be able to afford a separate storage unit for all his belongings.  Is socioeconomic bias in play?  Could the agency reasonably help with this expense as oppose to removing Liliana?  

4. Housing:   

Ø A recent report found many of _____________County’s working-class residents simply aren’t making enough to keep up with housing cost & changes.   

Ø Renters must now make about twice the state’s minimum wage, or nearly $27 per hour, just to afford the county’s average rent of $1,392. 

Ø As home prices continue to climb, low-income residents are forced out.

5. Stats on demographics of social workers in the agency (if available).  Even if not- information on their training on cultural humility & responsiveness 

6. Reasonable Efforts- Seek information about local community agencies whose work is geared toward assisting the Fijian/ Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders community.  If none- raise the reasonableness of CSWs reaching out to counties with such resources for guidance.