Tuesday, March 23, 2021

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending March 23, 2021

● The real story of COVID-19 and child welfare is not the false, racist master narrative about a supposed pandemic of child abuse.  The real story is how it has increased the harm done to families by needless foster care and an ongoing mad rush to terminate parental rights.  Mother Jones tells that story

● A start toward curbing this harm would be the repeal of the so-called Adoption and Safe Families Act.  The Imprint reports on a new campaign to #repealASFA.  You can support the campaign and find out more by following the campaign on Twitter and Instagram at @RepealASFA and on Facebook at http://bit.ly/ASFA-fb.  

● Repealing ASFA is an example of “non-reformist reform” – reforms that are interim steps that move toward more radical change rather than shoring up the existing system. Prof. Dorothy Roberts of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (and a member of the NCCPR Board of Directors) discusses the concept and much more on The Imprint’s weekly podcast

The podcast is a good preview of the Columbia Journal of Race and Law Symposium Strengthened Bonds: Abolishing the Child Welfare System and Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Prof. Roberts’ book, Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare. [UPDATE: In solidarity with striking Columbia University graduate students, the symposium has been postponed.]

● A Chicago Public School teacher was late to pick up her own child from school due to a mix-up. The school reported the family to the Illinois family policing agency, the Department of Children and Family Services.  Now, WGN-TV reports, the teacher 

…worries for her child, who she says after DCFS questioned him, remains scared that he will be taken away from his mother. 

“He just ran and gave me a hug and was like ‘I’m so dumb,’ I said, ‘baby, why are you dumb?’ He said, ‘I shouldn’t have told her when she said where I live. I should have said nope, that’s not it because she can just come to our home now and come get me.'” 

By the way, Chicago is not alone. The same thing happened in Washington, D.C. 

● And I have a blog post about the lessons Florida politicians and journalists should, but probably won’t learn from the outstanding USA Today Network story about how the state ignores abuse in foster care.