● Every once in awhile, a story about the horrors of the family policing system “breaks through” to a larger audience. Such is the case with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott using the vast power of the family police to enact his version of a far-right agenda: persecuting transgender children and their families. But the system he is using is largely a creation of the Left. I have a blog post on Greg Abbott’s liberal enablers.
● Some Texas media still don’t quite get it. The Texas Tribune, which, under a previous editor, pushed for expanding the power of the system, has a very good story about parents of transgender children rushing to hire lawyers – before the family police get to the door. That’s because, as one expert said: “Once you're in the clutch of the child welfare system, you're very vulnerable.” But while there is a brief mention of some lawyers working pro-bono, there is no other mention of all the families who can’t afford to hire a lawyer – which is most families “in the clutch of the child welfare system.”
The child welfare system—decried as “family policing” by critics—is a particularly potent tool for transphobic politicians because it was set up to surveil families that fall outside of the white, middle class norm.
● Speaking of the fact that almost everyone ensnared in the system is poor: Remember when apologists for the system insisted that family police agencies never, ever took away children because of poverty? Now that everybody’s seen that’s not true they have a fallback position: We don’t take children because of poverty alone. I have a column in Youth Today about why that’s not true either – and why it’s also irrelevant – because In child welfare, if the solution is money, the problem is poverty.
● Greg Abbott is teaching us all a lesson about what happens when you create a giant family-destroying bureaucracy with no way for families to defend themselves in conservative Texas. Honolulu Civil Beat shows what happens when the giant family-destroying bureaucracy with no way for families to defend themselves is in liberal Hawaii.
● Remember the scandal over “hidden foster care” in one county in North Carolina? (If you don’t, here’s a reminder.) Turns out it’s not just one county. WBTV in Charlotte found more places tearing apart families without even the minimal due process protections of the formal system.
Children ripped from their parents’ homes by DSS. Social workers are supposed to have a judge’s order but a WBTV investigation found two local counties where that’s not always the case. https://t.co/esUCdLzgHl— WBTV News (@WBTV_News) March 8, 2022
● And a Connecticut public defender tells the story of family policing in America through one case – described in a tweet thread.