Wednesday, May 12, 2021

NCCPR News and commentary round-up, week ending May 11, 2021

● There was one key turning point in the events leading to the tragic death of Ma’Khia Bryant in front of her foster home.  As her grandmother told The New York Times in this superb, comprehensive account: "They could’ve just given me what they give one foster parent, and then I could’ve gotten housing, taken care of the kids and done what I needed to do.”  As the headline in the print edition put it: “Teenage Girl Killed by Officer in Columbus Ached to Go Home.” I also have a blog post about the tragedy.   

The Imprint has two stories about more progressive legislation from New York:  One story discusses how existing law legalizing marijuana also curbs the ability of family policing agencies to make marijuana use an excuse to harass families.  The other story deals with an ambitious agenda to protect children from arbitrary investigations and removal, including bills that would require truly informed consent for drug testing new and expectant mothers, replace anonymous reporting to the state child abuse hotline with confidential reporting and provide families the equivalent of Miranda rights when the family police show up at the door.

● The Massachusetts “Child Advocate” has made so many misleading statements concerning child welfare in general and “mandated reporting” in particular that it’s hard to keep up.  I added two blog posts on the topic just in the past week.  You can read them here, along with previous posts about the commission the “Child Advocate” chairs. 

● Since child welfare agencies never, ever confuse poverty with “neglect” – just ask them! – this story, about how a court decision striking down an eviction moratorium is likely to lead to more placement of children in foster care can’t possibly right – right?  And surely the mere filing of an eviction notice shouldn’t lead to an increase in reports alleging abuse or neglect, right?  And yet, according to a new study, it does.  Oh, and of course, raising the minimum wage certainly wouldn’t lead to a decline in “neglect” reports – except, as Prof. Lindsey Bullinger of Georgia Tech University discusses on The Imprint podcast (starting at about 22:20 in), it does. 

● Vivek Sankaran writes about another way to measure success for a lawyer – or anyone else who helps families torn apart by the family policing system. 

● And for anyone who missed the outstanding webinar Social Work and Abolishing the Family Regulation System, you can see it here: