Thursday, September 15, 2022

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending Sept. 14, 2022

● The family police are always finding new ways to dress up their crusade to tear apart more families in pseudo-science.  As soon as one fad – predictive analytics – is debunked, they come up with another: taking “health terrorism” – extrapolating from horror stories to justify more removal of children – and slapping a more acceptable name on it: “safety science.”  In The Imprint I explain why Safety Science is Good for Aviation, but in Child Welfare it Won’t Fly

● We don’t know what will happen to the remarkably progressive bills to modestly curb family policing now on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.  But we do know this: Just a few years ago such good legislation probably wouldn’t have even gotten a sponsor, much lass passed the California legislature.  The Imprint has a rundown. 

● Amid all the speculation about what the overturning of Roe v. Wade will mean for family policing The Marshall Project has a report on the enormous harm done to pregnant women and their surviving children when they are prosecuted for miscarriages and stillbirths.  That’s only going to get worse.  (For a full understanding of how reproductive rights and family policing really intersect be sure to read the profile of Dorothy Roberts in New York Magazine.

The Marshall Project also partnered with the Oklahoma nonprofit news site The Frontier for this story: Oklahoma is prosecuting pregnant women for using medical marijuana.  The charge is felony child neglect. 

● In 2014, the Mercury News in Northern California investigated the misuse and overuse of potent psychiatric medication on foster youth.  This excellent journalism led to legislation and, more important, the legislation got results.  The Imprint reports that the use of the worst such meds has declined significantly.  It’s a big victory.  But the overall use of such medication has barely changed – and it’s way too high.  So no, New York Times, this does not mean it’s OK for reporters to write off foster youth and focus instead of kids more likely to remind newspaper editors of their own children. 

● Once again WFLA-TV zeroes-in on the real problem at the root of all the others in Tampa Bay “child welfare” – the obscene rate at which children are needlessly torn from their families.  We’re proud to have NCCPR’s perspective included in the story.  

● The news is not so good in Kansas City.  The public radio station there talked to the right people for a "child welfare" story – but still missed the point.  I have a blog post about the story, which showed deep compassion for the trauma caused by removing children – the trauma it causes for those doing the removing, that is. 

The Bethlehem Press begins a three-part look at the trauma inflicted on children and families when so-called “child abuse physicians” rush to accuse parents of “medical child abuse.”  As one young person, needlessly taken away, explained: 

“Because [my younger sibling] is still underage, we’re still afraid …Anything that anyone might say could lead to her getting reported again and taken away. Once they’re in your life in the first place, it’s much easier for them to get back in.” 

And here’s part two. 

And The Imprint has a story about the report of the United Nations Committee that has called on the United States to change or repeal racist family policing laws.