Before the news, a note about an event this evening (Wednesday, May 5). It’s sponsored by the Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work – and when you see who’s speaking, you won’t want to miss it.
Now, the news:
● During a virtual
court hearing, a ten-year-old girl is asked where she wants to live. As Sylvia A. Harvey reports for Type Investigations
and The Imprint
she replies: “With my dad.”
When [her lawyer] encourages her to elaborate, her eyes start to well. “Because. I really miss him.” Her dad’s lawyer asks her about their relationship. Does she feel safe with her dad and does he take good care of her? The girl sobs through her answer, one hand covering her mouth: “Yes.”
Once her testimony is over, she is excused from juvenile court which, in Minnesota, is open to the public. She wipes away her tears, hits the red “leave meeting” button on her computer, and is off to her next class, PE. Her 13-year-old brother will testify next, offering the same emotional plea to remain with his dad.
But these children, and so many others, risk having their rights to their parents terminated and losing their families forever, all because of the arbitrary, capricious and cruel timelines in a racist federal law, the so-called Adoption and Safe Families Act. Harvey’s story documents the true human cost to children – made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
some people who know ASFA does these horrible things still fret over repealing
it because of one myth. NCCPR in The Imprint: We Don’t Need The Adoption
and Safe Families Act to Shorten Foster Care Stays
● A prime sponsor of ASFA was then-Senator Mike DeWine. Now he’s governor of Ohio, and his same attachment to a take-the-child-and-run mentality may have contributed to the death of a foster child, Ma’Khia Bryant. Before a police officer pulled the trigger and killed her during a fight outside her foster home, M’Khia was taken from her grandmother – when the family’s poverty was confused with “neglect.” I have a post about it on this blog.
● Remember that judge in Colorado who resigned after being censured “for repeatedly using a racial slur and making insensitive comments to Black judicial employees regarding police brutality and systemic racism”? Guess what kind of cases she handled. Two family defenders discuss the implications in the Denver Gazette.
● And sometimes the things family police agencies due to families echo for decades. Michelle Chan writes about one such case in the San Francisco Bay View.