African-American Kids Still Face Problems Of Bad Policy Decisions

Special ‘Wraparound’ services for African-American kids don’t wholly solve their problems.

Historic bias and structural inequality have set the tone for several life-sucking factors in Black neighborhoods, which leave Black kids facing the consequences of all sorts of problems faced by their parents: unemployment, poverty, crime, limited transportation, unaffordable housing and inaccessible health care all adversely influence the learning conditions of any Black child.

The source problem of bad policy can’t be mended up by the introduction of the nonprofit-industrial complex. These nonprofits are mostly funded by philanthropists and foundations that gain from the policies that generate inequality. Therefore, healing strategies have to be supported by a policy agenda that clearly illustrates the needed changes.

That brings up the question, whether the “wraparound services” are the answer? And what’s to be expected from such services? The “wraparound services” gained their popularity in the 1980s, where a treatment team of particular professionals and a child’s family strived to attend to specific needs like trauma, high mobility, parental disengagement truancy, food insecurity and so on.

Tina Brown, executive director of the Overtown Youth Center, spoke at the 46th annual conference of the National Black Child Development Institute in Orlando, Florida, last week. She said, “We know that wraparound services work because they take a holistic perspective in breaking down barriers to success. We don’t simply focus on academics because there are so many other significant issues that are at play before a child walks in the school. And we have the evidence to prove it.”

NBCDI supports wraparound services as an important step in providing for families and youths, and there are signs that prove that the organization’s programs have been successful.

“NBCDI takes a comprehensive approach to ensuring the success and well-being of children and families,” said Cemeré James, the vice president of policy for the center. “We also address structural barriers, regressive policies and the lack of investment in our communities as we move toward the goal of improving the lives of black families.”

Unfortunately, all the present efforts including campaigns of the citizens of some states, aimed at aiding children in need, are not enough. Eradicating policies that produce inequalities in our country has to be a priority, as it’s a longitudinal solution to the problems African-American students face. Blacks need help in the form of high-quality nonprofit providers, but tackling upstream sources of the problems should be of main concern.

Source: The Root
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