A New Era of Equity

Chapin Hall builds portfolio of work to address racial inequity

Centuries of racially biased laws, policies, and practices have resulted in inequitable treatment and perpetuated ongoing trauma in communities of color. A stark illustration of this is that more than half — 53 percent — of all Black children and their parents experience a child abuse or neglect investigation before their 18th birthday.

Challenging ourselves

As an applied research and policy center, we acknowledge the complicity of research in creating the inequities that exist today, and the role we have to play in addressing these inequities.

Specifically, we challenge ourselves and our partners to consider policies currently in place, how we make decisions, and how we leverage data steeped in institutional biases. This includes deciding what information we collect, how and from whom we collect it, and for what it is used. We are also obligated to use data and evidence responsibly to inform an understanding of inequity, to bring to light the assets of marginalized communities, and to build new policies that promote family and community resilience.


Innovating for Equity
We know a lot about what families need to thrive. I am committed to finding innovative ways to diversify our staff, and use research to design and implement evidence-based policies that overcome inequities.
Bryan Samuels, Executive Director

Commitments and actions

This June 2020 statement describes this commitment. It has led to numerous actions that illuminate inequity and elevate solutions that disrupt systemic racism, protect and promote the well-being of Black and Brown families, and lead us toward an era where all families thrive. A small sampling of our equity work includes:

System transformation through community leadership. An interdisciplinary team conducted research, explored past projects, and talked with experts from the field to understand what has and hasn’t worked in efforts to build and embed Black and Brown community leadership into public systems change.

Other work directly connects to our commitment to equity including Direct Cash Transfers for Youth Experiencing Housing Instability, Family First Prevention Services, and Kinship Navigation, among others.

Addressing Poverty as an Equity Approach

Addressing poverty is a key race equity strategy. Chapin Hall’s leaders have been building and presenting evidence on the connection between economic hardship and inequities in the child welfare system and creating evidence-based policy solutions that respond to the opportunity.

This short video provides an overview to an equity-based approach and System transformation to support child and family well-being: The central role of economic and concrete supports further details this approach.

An economic supports agenda is also a critical race equity strategy. Over 70% of children in poverty are children of color.

Clare Anderson, Senior Policy Fellow

Digging deeper

More recently, Chapin Hall has made an organizational commitment to look for the leadership and involvement of people of color in every phase of our work – from how we bring equity forward into our interrogations and policy design, to how we support the use of evidence and the implementation of policy with our government partners.

To this end, in January 2022, Chapin Hall welcomed its first three Equity First Fellows. These fellows have expertise in racial inequity, child well-being, public systems transformation, and community change. Through this effort, we seek to build in the perspectives of those whose life experiences directly or more closely match those whose lives we seek to support. Their work on promising policies, interventions and systems change will be on this site’s pages in the future.

Contact us if you’d like to be part of these efforts.