Before getting to the news, two big events:
“There’s this sort of false narrative that during the pandemic, there’s been this epidemic of children being beaten and otherwise harmed at home. But really, there never was, ever. The reality is that a small percentage of the reports that are made have to do with abuse. The majority have to do with neglect.”
Schools are universally accepted as important. However, we argue, their importance is not as sites of surveillance and reporting of child abuse, and there is no evidence that school closures impede efforts to safeguard children from maltreatment.
● From the Indianapolis Star, Holly V. Hays has this story from a state that takes away children at one of the highest rates in the country:
An Indianapolis couple is suing the Indiana Department of Child Services alleging the agency removed their two young children from their home under false pretenses and fabricated evidence that left them in foster care for months.
When teachers, doctors or neighbors learn of children living in these conditions, they may call Child Protective Services, driven by both mandatory reporting laws which broadly define neglect and a genuine desire to help. We’ve created a narrative that CPS has the tools to support families in crisis. But that narrative is false.
The CPS report left [her] frustrated with the hospital social worker who notified CPS and wary of similar service providers going forward. “This social worker who spent four minutes with me in the hospital gets to determine strangers coming in,” she said, adding that she would hesitate to be so open next time: “If a social worker came into my room, I wouldn’t speak to anybody without my mother or somebody like a third party with me … I would, this time, now question a little more. Social worker, for discharge? Why? Why are you here? What purpose are you serving here for me?” This distrust and disengagement distances families from the systems tasked with assisting them.