San Jose Politicians Address Latinos in State Child Welfare System

SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Politicians and community leaders gathered in East San Jose Friday to talk about local action on the number of Latino children in California’s welfare system.

Santa Clara County statistics shows 59 percent of all active cases in the child welfare system are Latino. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau 26.9 percent of Santa Clara’s population identified as being of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Democratic State Assemblyman Jim Beall held a special hearing at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church’s parish hall on E. San Antonio Road to find out why the figures are so disproportionate and to figure out a solution.

The church has historical significance as being the place where Cesar Chavez met and organized with the United Farm Workers (UFW).

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta spoke at the meeting.

Huerta pointed out a flaw in the system and said that a large number of kids in the program are likely to end up in prison.

“The lives of these children are priceless. If these families need help to keep their children from being taken away from them, to be put into the foster-care system, then those are the needs that have to be addressed.

Several of the politicians on hand said the issue is too complex for just one entity to solve.

Representatives from the State, county, city, police departments, courts and social service agencies shared their input.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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