Wednesday, October 19, 2022

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending October 18, 2022

Drop everything and read this one, too: In the second part of their series, ProPublica and NBC News examine how the family police decided that, for all their constant blather about “children’s rights,” those rights do not include the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.  They document the trauma this inflicts on children and how, almost always, the family police find nothing.  The reports to child abuse hotlines that triggered the investigations were false.  My favorite quote is the one in the graphic above.  And for those who missed it: Part one, about the enormous harm of mandatory reporting, is here.

● The ProPublica story focused on New York City.  Of course, the city’s family policing agency offered up all the usual excuses.  But one of the leading scholars of the Fourth Amendment and family policing, Prof. Tarek Ismail of the City University of New York School of Law, rebutted them in this column for the New York Daily News. 

The American Prospect joins the journalistic chorus reporting on the confusion of poverty with neglect.  From the story: 

Appalling cases of beating or rape of children are a major political motivation behind child protective services (CPS) and their habit of “child separation,” or taking kids from their families and placing them into foster or group homes. But in reality, a large and growing majority of child abuse is simple neglect, which can be greatly ameliorated with the welfare state; and CPS actions are themselves often abusive. 

The story is called “Slash Child Abuse With One Simple Trick: Cash 

The New York Times takes a close look at President Biden’s proposed budget for “child welfare” in particular his proposal to increase federal reimbursement if a child is placed with relatives – kinship foster care – and decrease reimbursement if a child is forced into a group home or institution. 

The story also mentions, in passing, another intriguing part of the proposal: A first effort to entice states to count how many children they force into “hidden foster care.” 

But the story itself shows why none of this is enough.  At the end, it’s revealed that the grandparents taking care of the children at the center of the story would no longer need to be kinship foster parents at all – if the children’s father could just get housing sufficient to meet the demands of the family police. 

● A comment in a webinar chat from Charity Tolliver of Race Forward perfectly summed up a keynote presentation at the upEND Movement virtual convening last week: “Joyce McMillan moderating a conversation with Angela Davis while Dorothy Roberts is dropping history in the chat with Erin Miles Cloud is an absolute dream.”  The recording doesn’t seem to be available yet, but you can read about the event in this story from The Imprint. 

Another story in The Imprint is a reminder of the stakes as the Indian Child Welfare Act goes before the Supreme Court next month: 

The law was passed to counteract centuries of attempts at cultural genocide through forced boarding school attendance, excessive removals into foster care and adoption into non-Native homes. 

● Another county in Wisconsin has signed up for an innovative program to provide housing for families when that is all that is preventing them from reuniting with children trapped in foster care. 

And finally … 

● If you’ve ever wondered why it is that independent studies reveal vastly more abuse in foster care than family policing agencies admit to in official figures, this story from the Lima (Ohio) News, will help explain it.