We begin with two big events:
● TODAY (Dec. 8) at 10:00 a.m. ET: “Narrowing the Front Door to NYC’s Child Welfare System: COVID-19 Lessons Learned and Charting a Path Forward.”
From the description:
In New York City, the COVID-19 shutdown forced a temporary but radical reduction in the child welfare system—halving the number of reports, investigations, and family separations, reducing surveillance of families in their schools and in their homes, and restricting support of voluntary preventive services. Early indications seem to suggest that this shutdown did not endanger children. Rates of substantiated abuse did not rise and, in fact, may have dipped; rates of substantiated neglect remained unchanged; and children stayed with their families and in their communities. We would like to take a look at this data together and see what solutions emerge.
Unlike a previous event from the same organizers, this time, when it comes to participants, the deck isn’t stacked – and the chat function will be enabled. Though geared to New York City, the lessons are likely to be applicable anywhere.
● Then on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m. ET: from the National Welfare Rights Union: Take Our Poverty, Not Our Children: A Human Rights Day Truth Commission.
In the news:
● Florida Politics cuts through the b.s. and gets to the heart of the problems plaguing the “child welfare” system in the Tampa Bay area – and statewide. You can probably guess what the story pointed out.
● From the “yeah, we already knew that” file: Contrary to the propaganda from the “residential treatment” industry, a meta-analysis (a study of the studies) found that for children with serious mental health problems Wraparouund services are a better option than tearing apart families and forcing the children into “residential treatment centers.” Wraparound also costs less. And this part is new: “Wraparound may hold the potential for reducing disparities in outcomes for youth of color.” To get a sense of how Wraparound works, check out this video:
● What happens when ageism meets ableism: Children are kept from a loving father and his aunt, possibly forever, thanks to an appalling court decision in Pennsylvania. I have a blog post about it.
● In that Pennsylvania case the aunt was dismissed as “elderly.” She’s 68. It’s one more example of the bias relatives can face, even though kinship foster care is clearly the least harmful form of foster care. Vivek Sankaran, in The Imprint, has some ideas about what can be done about it.
● Anna Ramirez writes in The Imprint about the trauma of losing her family – twice:
After being taken out of my birth mother’s placement at 13, my world was crushed. Not only did I lose my birth mother, whom I admire most in life, but I also lost all five of my siblings. It took me years to cope with the trauma. However, I was soon reunited with my two younger siblings. We were eventually placed with a foster family who we thought would be our new, permanent family.
The sad truth was that we were placed into a family that was neither ready for nor interested in extending their family circle. They were more interested in the benefits of having three foster children in their home and being applauded for taking on big responsibilities. These responsibilities included basic things, such as making foster children feel welcome in the home, as well as providing necessities for them.
● Wisconsin Watch is still on the case: Documenting still more examples of the enormous harm done to children by a “child abuse pediatrician.”
● And finally I’m going to steal from The Daily Show and leave you with a Moment of Zen. As you watch consider what would have happened to a Black or Native American mother who posted a video like this: