Wednesday, May 19, 2021

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending May 18, 2021

● Well what do you know?  The workaround used by a North Carolina family police agency to tear apart families when judges refused to rubber-stamp their requests is illegal. Carolina Public Press reports on a big victory against the scandal of hidden foster care.  And we have additional context in this blog post

● Remember those great stories a team of USA Today Network Florida reporters did about the harm done to children when they are taken from mothers whose only “crime” is to be, themselves, victims of domestic violence?  Think it can’t bet any worse? Check out this story from First Coast News in Jacksonville, and think again. 

● Then check out the harm done to other Florida children when their grandmother dared to make a simple request for help

● But there is also progress.  For decades one of the most regressive forces in child welfare was the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Then, at long last, they decided to actually listen to families.  Their new approach still isn’t everything it should be but it represents significant progress. 

● And Texas has a new law bolstering access to lawyers for families under investigation by the family police and narrowing the definition of “neglect” to make it harder to confuse it with poverty.

The Imprint looks at the importance of the Indian Child Welfare Act through cases handled by Minnesota’s ICWA Law Center

● After a year in which almost all parents had to become homeschoolers, at least in part, you would think there would be higher priorities even on the part of those desperate to tear apart more families than further harassing homeschoolers.  But for those who think every family needs to be under omnipresent surveillance, apparently there’s no time like the present.  Jim Mason of the Home School Legal Defense Association responds in National Review.  But this isn’t just an issue for the political right. The rationale for ratcheting up child welfare surveillance of homeschoolers is identical to the rationale applied to nonwhite families during the worst of COVID-19. 

● There’s a follow-up to those outstanding stories by The Marshall Project and NPR about states using a legal loophole to steal money from foster children to help fund their child welfare systems. The radio stories are herehere and here.  Now The Marshall Project has a state-by-state breakdown of how much is stolen and a step-by-step guide for foster youth to find out if they’ve had money stolen from them and, if so, how to fight back.