Finding Black Parents: One Church, One Child (Epilogue)
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In 1980, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services faced a crisis. Over 700 black children in Cook County, including 69 infants, waited for adoption while the agency was unable to find black parents. Director Gregory L. Color, with his deputy Gordon Johnson, approached Father George Clements, a black activist Chicago priest in the Baptist community. From those meetings came One Church, One Child, a plan to use pastors of the black churches as spokesmen to reach the community. Color and Johnson faced several hurdles as they asked a private religious institution to help solve a public agency's problem. They had to change negative attitudes both in the black community; which had grown to distrust the state agency, and among a staff suspicious of change who would implement the black adoption program. They had to revamp state laws that inhibited the adoption process. And they had to change bureaucratic procedures that had proven ineffective.
This case will challenge students to examine the assumptions that limit bureaucracies.
- Pages (incl. exhibits):
- United States