On Friday April 21, 2017 Commissioner David Hansell opened the “Historical Child Welfare Timeline: A Transformational Experience,” an exhibit produced by the ACS Racial Equity and Cultural Competence Committee (RECCC) which focuses on the child welfare system from the 1800s to the present day. At a special event for child welfare leadership and city officials, Commissioner Hansell said, “In creating this exhibit, we at ACS are boldly and rightly confronting the disproportionate impact the system has for people of color.”
The exhibit spotlights the disproportionality and disparity within the child welfare system and aims to change conversations, policies, and practices, while advancing equitable outcomes for children and families. The exhibit features several structures depicting seminal child welfare policies from the 1800s to present day and a special curio cabinet of toys left behind, embodying the essence of loss through a child’s lens. Viewers can watch a ten minute panel discussion video, of child welfare experts and a former foster child discussing the child welfare system. Interactive features include two modern day totems, several iPad documentary videos, and our “reflection board” where visitors can express their thoughts and feelings about the exhibit.
Christiana Best, center, exhibit curator guides visitors through the exhibit.
Some of the display items from the exhibit.