Wednesday, April 13, 2022

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending April 12, 2022

● While discussing her new book, Torn Apart, on public radio’s The Takeaway, Dorothy Roberts made host Melissa Harris-Perry gasp. Want to hear it? And see also this story in Jezebel. 

● Thanks to Greg Abbott, affluent white people are discovering that even “CPS-lite” is enormously traumatic for children and families.  As I note in this column for The Imprint, for Black, Brown, Native and poor white families it’s a whole lot worse. 

● How can families respond when the family police are at the door?  Following up on her brilliant reporting on the confusion of poverty with “neglect,” Suzanne Hirt of USA Today canvassed family defenders for advice

● A big victory for families in Washington State:  The Olympian reports on a new law that will put relational permanence ahead of paper permanence. 

● And bracing for a possible big defeat: With the Indian Child Welfare Act facing a challenge in the Supreme Court, The Imprint reports on states passing their own ICWA-like laws to protect Native children. 

● How do family policing agencies respond when their negligence leads to large damage awards? Do they A. Clean up their acts or B. Rush to the Legislature whining about their plight and demanding a cap on damage awards?  It’s B, of course.  

Agencies go on to blame a shortage of caseworkers.  They want money to hire more of them, of course.  But unlike most such stories, this one in Billy Penn quotes those favoring a better answer: 

Across the country, child welfare experts have issued recommendations to reduce the number of kids in foster care by 50-percent or more because most kids in the system are not actually there for reasons of abuse. [Susan Vivian Mangold, CEO of the Juvenile Law Center] sees the spate of civil suits and the workforce issues as reasons to embrace “right sizing” as a potential solution, allowing social service workers to pay more attention to the cases that require it. 

“These lawsuits should serve as a wake-up call that kids are being severely harmed in care,” concludes Mangold. “We need a different way of doing things.” 

● A new study finds that legalizing marijuana reduces the number of children torn from their families – and, perhaps, not just for the obvious reason. 

● And Law Week has a good overview of Colorado’s new right to childhood law – with a discussion of both of the cases highlighted in this blog post.