Wednesday, May 8, 2019

News and commentary round-up, week ending May 7, 2019

● There’s still another major study documenting the extent to which children are needlessly in foster care – and this one also documents the success of one solution: high-quality legal defense for families.  There’s a story in the Chronicle of Social Change. Here’s the press release from New York University School of Law. And I have a post about it on this blog.

● One of the lawyers who provides this kind of high-quality family defense has an excellent essay in Paste about a family in which the mother accidentally dropped her five-year-old son. He suffered a fractured skull.  But this family didn’t need a lawyer.  Can you guess why?

● The Arizona Republic has a story about the hypocritical way child protective services agencies invoke concerns about children’s privacy – because it’s the agency’s privacy they’re really defending.

● One child welfare agency, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services countenanced a massive invasion of children’s privacy – and that was only one of the problems with the HBO documentary Foster.  I have a blog post about it.

● Daniel Heimpel, publisher of the Chronicle of Social Change has a column criticizing Naomi Schaefer Riley for using “cherry-picked statistics on child maltreatment deaths – a horrific but incredibly rare occurrence – to insinuate that ramping up domestic family separations has a corollary in reduced child maltreatment deaths.”  (I have more about Riley here.)

● The Chronicle also has a column from Nora McCarthy, director of Rise, about Rise’s Handbook for improving frontline practice with parents (There’s a link to the full handbook.)

● And, 26 years after I wrote a cover story for the alternative weekly in Chicago about the foster-care panic caused by certain media and politicians, I have an update.  (The media are doing better; the politicians, not so much.)