● What happens to a social worker who rushes her four-month-old to the hospital after the infant falls out of bed? It depends on her race, of course. As you read this story, from The Imprint that begins with the social worker’s testimony at a City Council hearing in New York, please keep in mind: This happened in New York City. Wherever you are, it’s probably worse.
● The City also covered the hearing, focusing on the ongoing problem of false allegations of “educational neglect” against parents who can’t get their children online for school. The New York Daily News also took a close look at that issue.
● One area where New York City has done relatively well is not taking away children just because their mothers are victims of domestic violence (thanks to a class-action lawsuit settlement for which NCCPR’s Vice President was co-counsel for plaintiffs). But sometimes, it seems, caseworkers “forget.” Check out how Gabbie Rodriguez, the foster youth who wrote this moving column for The Imprint, and her siblings, wound up taken from their mother.
How much worse can it get?
● Check out Philadelphia, which takes away children at more than double the rate of New York City. There, police are confident they can use the ultimate threat against a Black family and the city child welfare agency will back them up. I have a blog post about it.
● Or check out Indiana, which takes away children at one of the highest rates in the country. It’s bad enough when family police agencies tear apart families based only on a positive drug test. But in Indiana, they contracted with a lab that allegedly falsified the results. WTHR-TV in Indianapolis broke the story.
● Or check out Florida, where the USA TODAY Network exposed the harm done to children by the state’s ongoing foster-care panic. WFSU Public Radio included NCCPR’s response to the stories in a round-up of reaction.
● The good news: Even that bastion of the child welfare establishment, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, has weighed in with an Issue Brief countering the racist media-fueled master narrative about COVID-19 and child abuse. I have a blog post about it. On the other hand, Chapin Hall has not apologized for pouring gasoline on the fires of foster-care panic in Illinois. I have a post about what’s happening in Illinois, too.
● And finally, a preview: I’ve often linked to the excellent stories such as this one by Mike Hixenbaugh of NBC News concerning so-called “child abuse pediatricians” and the tendency of some of them to find child abuse whether it’s there or not. Starting Nov. 10, Hixenbaugh has a podcast on the topic.