Wednesday, June 8, 2022

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending June 7, 2022

● A committee of the Texas legislature heard from former foster youth, including a 14-year-old who had been taken away because of her mother’s drug use – even though, when she relapsed, her mother already had placed the youth and her siblings in the safe home of a friend. 

"I know my mom struggled with addiction, but I was always in a clean home with clean clothes," she said. "I was never hungry, made good grades, involved in sports, and my mom never missed a game."  

Her experience in foster care was far worse. 

● These are precisely the kinds of young people the Massachusetts “Child Advocate” is trying to silence.  I have a blog post about it. 

In an interview with Salon about her new book, Torn Apart, Prof. Dorothy Roberts has a message for some of our white liberal friends: 

It's really important for people to reject this myth that children in foster care are there because their parents abused them. Most of them are there because their parents either could not afford the resources they need or simply because of discrimination against poor families, especially if they are Black or Native. The propaganda machine around saving Black children from their families has been very effective, and I think there are a lot of white liberals who want to believe this story: We have a child welfare system that's saving Black children from dysfunctional homes. That is just simply false. 

● I wonder how many of those white liberals in the New York State Legislature refused to support these three bills that would have made “Black Lives Matter” more than a slogan. 

As Miriam Mack of The Bronx Defenders told The Imprint: 

“We are deeply disappointed by the Legislature’s inaction on the Family Miranda Rights Bill, the Informed Consent Bill, and the Anti-Harassment Bill, three critical pieces of legislation that would have gone a long way to address the deep harm of the family regulation system, support familial integrity, and honor the due process rights, dignity, and humanity of all New York families.” 

● WBTV in Charlotte continues to expose the hidden foster care scandal in North Carolina.  Check out the video of their latest story – especially the part where a county family police agency director tries to explain why they used a process that bypasses all court hearings – and which is not authorized in state law.  And please keep it in mind the next time a family police agency piously proclaims that “we don’t remove children on our own. A judge has to approve everything we do.” 

See also WSLS-TV's examination of the problem in Virginia.

● The good news: The Associated Press reports that Oregon is the latest place to abandon the latest dangerous fad in family policing: “predictive analytics” – in part because of concerns about racial bias.  The bad news: Instead they’re going with Structured Decision Making – which also has racial bias problems. 

­● You may remember the Philadelphia Inquirer expose of Devereux, one of the nation’s largest chains of McTreatment centers. (Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version and some context.)  Now more young people who say they were horrifically based in Devereux facilities are suing.  One reason these suits are so significant: There is a myth that you can solve the problem of abusive “residential treatment” if you just get the new, for-profit players out of the business.  But Devereux is an old-line nonprofit player. 

● And in Colorado, families are organizing to fight the family police

Continuing to catch up with news I’d missed in May: 

● The federal government released a report on what was done to Native American children by the antecedents of today’s “child protective services” -- a system of so-called “boarding schools.”  As The Imprint reported: 

At a Washington, D.C., press conference, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland detailed the horrors Native children and their families experienced in a vast and previously uncounted network of more than 400 boarding schools that the government ran or supported. 

In its 102-page report, her federal agency also said it had identified 53 marked and unmarked burial grounds on school sites where American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children were sent for more than a century. Often, the Interior Department acknowledged, families were never told that their children had perished. 

Native News Online has reaction from the Native American community.  And the ABA Journal has more about the “schools” and their legacy.