● What does the needless elimination of all in-person visits between foster children and their families really do to children – and why is it really happening. A father writes about what’s happening to his family in Rise. Elizabeth Brico has the big picture in Prism.
● In Ethika Politika, Lincoln Rise of Casa Maria in Milwaukee writes about how the reduction in reports to child abuse hotlines as a result of COVID-19 might at least reduce the number of children torn from their families when poverty is confused with neglect.
● Public defenders in New York City write in City Limits about the urgent need for funding to fight for those most harmed by the pandemic: poor families, especially poor families of color. “For many wealthy New Yorkers, the quarantine is more inconvenience than anything else, they write.
It has meant fleeing to country homes and adjusting to working remotely, but it is ultimately a crisis they can wait out without worrying about putting food on the table, paying rent, or having the NYPD, ACS, or ICE knock on their door.
In other news:
● Lexie Gruber, a public service management consultant, child welfare advocate and former foster youth writes in the Chronicle of Social Change about how advocates sometimes use those in the latter category:
At times, alumni of the foster care system are flown to Washington for advocacy events. Too often, they are treated simply as spokespeople for sad stories. The power dynamics are clear and uncomfortable – those who “invite” former foster youth to the table set the stage, having already developed the agenda and crafted the policy ideas. Instead of empowering the young person to lobby for the bold ideas they genuinely believe in, they often give the young people pre-written language in support of incremental changes. The advocates aren’t brought to Washington to demand a revolution, they are only used to “pull the heartstrings.”
● Some prominent advocates of taking away far more children have launched an attack on homeschooling. (One of those advocates is so extreme in his belief that child abuse is rampant that he didn’t even want schools to close due to COVID-19. Now there’s someone whose judgment we can trust!) As a I wrote on this blog, the attack on homeschooling isn’t really about homeschooling – it’s about trying to find another way to take away far more children. As for homeschooling, James Mason, vice president for litigation at the Home School Legal Defense Association has a response in the Chronicle of Social Change.
● Chris Gottlieb, co-director of the Family Defense Clinic at the New York University School of Law has a primer in the New York Law Journal on the changes to New York’s child abuse blacklist – its central registry of those alleged to have abused or neglected children.
● A HuffPost story that actually doesn’t tell you anything about systemic failure. Rather, it should be a reminder to those seeking to exploit horror stories, that such stories go in all directions.