Fellow: Yamini Oseguera-Bhatnagar

Grant Year: 2019

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Organization: HIVE

Project Title: Family Unification First

Project Summary: Recent data reveals that San Francisco refers Black and Latino families to Child Protective Services (CPS) custody at a higher rate than Caucasian families. In the city of San Francisco, there are 208 allegations of child maltreatment per 1,000 children—with many referrals originating at Zuckerberg San Francisco General (SFGH). SFGH is the largest safety-net hospital in the area and about 1,000 babies are born there every year. Currently, there is no protocol in place within the hospital to provide guidance to clinicians or social workers around involving CPS in a patient’s case. Furthermore, there is no mechanism for departmental oversight of referrals to CPS and many patients perceive bias and racism to be at play in their CPS referrals. 

 HIVE will work to improve the CPS referral process and prevent the separation of families by advocating for the department heads of OB/GYN, pediatrics, family medicine, and psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital to implement a new, collective-impact driven protocol for referring families to Child Protective Services investigation by August 2020. Using a data-driven approach, they will illuminate the gaps in the system and help hospital decisionmakers create a plan to prioritize family unification, diminish bias in CPS referral activation, and communicate more effectively with patients needing CPS referrals. This project could protect over 1,000 families from being separated due to unwarranted referrals to CPS at SFGH.