Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities
About the Center
The Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities was created by Senate Bill 501 in 2011 to help address disproportionality and disparities in Texas health and human services. Senate Bill 501 established the center as the Texas State Office of Minority Health to assume a leadership role in working with state and federal agencies, universities, private groups, communities, foundations, and offices of minority health to decrease or eliminate health and health access disparities among racial, multicultural, disadvantaged, ethnic, and regional populations.
Senate Bill 501 provides for a comprehensive approach and allows Texas to maximize resources and produce better results through the development of recommendations for strategies that cut across every system that contributes to disproportionality and disparities for the same populations. The legislation also established the Interagency Council for Addressing Disproportionality which is composed of representatives from various state agencies and community-based interested parties, including former foster care youth, representatives from the medical community, and representatives from community- and faith-based organizations.
Disproportionality is the overrepresentation of a particular race or cultural group in a program or system compared to their representation in the general population. Disparity is the condition of being unequal and refers to the difference in outcomes and conditions that exist among specific groups as compared to other groups due to unequal treatment or services. A health disparity is a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social or economic disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect people who have experienced greater social or economic obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, mental health, physical disability or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.
Disproportionality and disparity in the treatment of children, families of color, and vulnerable populations in systems is embedded in the structure, in policy, in practice and in individual relationships between workers and their clients. It has its roots in historical conditions, and it arises from factors such as poverty, education levels, income, household composition and the lack of resources.
Significant gains have been made in reducing disproportionality within the Texas child welfare system. This work has laid the foundation for expansion and continued improvement across other health and human services agencies.
To partner with health and human services agencies and external stakeholders, as well as other systems and communities to identify and eliminate disproportionality and disparities affecting children, families, and vulnerable citizens.
The Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities serves as a leader in addressing the systemic factors and identifying practice improvements that address the disproportionate representation and disparate outcomes for children, their families, and other vulnerable citizens within the Texas Health and Human Services System.
Expanding the work of addressing disproportionality and continuing improvements involves a cross systems approach. Many families receiving services from one agency or program may be receiving services from other programs. Therefore, eliminating disproportionality and disparities calls for the reform and in depth look at all programs that serve our vulnerable citizens, including health care, education, juvenile justice, and housing. This approach cuts across every system that contributes to disproportionality and disparities for the same populations. The Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities will serve as a vehicle in addressing and eliminating disproportionality and disparities in the Texas Health and Human Services System as well as other systems that serve children, families, and vulnerable populations. Success is dependent on mutual accountability at every level so that the end result is equity and fairness in all health and human services delivery.