● Why in the world would progressive child advocates be urging the incoming Biden Administration to keep in place the leadership team in the federal government’s Children’s Bureau? Vivek Sankaran explains in this column for The Imprint. Also, check out the interview with Sankaran on the Imprint’s podcast. It starts at 29:46 in.
Blocking off the ability of parents and caregivers to access employment in high-growth fields only serves to hurt the very children the child abuse registry is supposed to protect in the first place. The child abuse registry thus exacerbates child poverty and places vulnerable families in even more precarious circumstances. And all too often, placement on the registry is based on faulty or incomplete investigations, or on the caseworkers’ misapplication of evidence or misunderstanding of statutory definitions. In many cases, racial, cultural, or economic differences create an additional bias that factors into a caseworker’s determination of whether child abuse or neglect occurred.
In a column about the report for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Janet Ginzberg and Saadiqa Kumanyika of Community Legal Services write:
● With the federal Indian Child Welfare Act under attack, New Mexico Political Report has a story about lawmakers moving to incorporate its provisions into state law.
The investigator is the “judge and jury.” Without any hearing, they decide whether there was substantial evidence of child abuse and, if so, they “indicate” the report, placing the accused on the registry. The criteria used to make these determinations is often unreliable and heavily influenced by the investigator’s personal biases.
● And we end this week where we started: With a commentary from the head of the Children’s Bureau, Jerry Milner on the Rethinking Foster Care blog.