Tuesday, January 3, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending January 3, 2023

ProPublica and NBC News wrapped up their extraordinary series on the harm of family policing with an urgent reminder that “In Child Welfare Cases, Most of Your Constitutional Rights Don’t Apply.”  They also published an update to their story about racial bias in family policing, a story that focused on Arizona.  Turns out one of the foremost critics of that system quoted in the story has an interesting new job.  You can read the entire series here

● At the end of 2021, NPR exposed the hideous practice of forcing parents to pay ransom to get their kids back from foster care. (No, of course they don’t call it ransom, but when someone takes your child and forces you to pay money to get the child back any other word for the payment is a euphemism.) The stories prompted the federal government to issue new guidance opposing the practice and several states and localities are promising to at least curb it. 

But in North Carolina, NPR now reports, you can have your children taken forever if you don’t pay ransom – even when the state never sends you a ransom note.  Check out the stories from Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 

Honolulu Civil Beat sums up its own outstanding reporting on Hawaii’s failed family policing system with an editorial called 'Grab And Go' Must Go. 

In the Boston Globe Magazine, Jasmine Wali of JMAC for Families writes about how, while “fresh out of college” and working for a foster care agency she worked with a young child she calls Violet who had been taken, needlessly, from her mother, whom she calls Jade: 

Violet and Jade were treated as if something was wrong with their minds rather than their circumstances. We had therapeutic interventions for Violet’s tantrums, but no plan for getting her family back together. CPS mandated therapy for Jade, when what she needed was affordable housing, transportation, and weekdays clear of appointments so that she could work. 

Does that health care worker who wants you to fill out a questionnaire about “adverse childhood experiences” think you’re really just a “mentally ill, violent, criminal deadbeat”? I have a blog post about how, in California, “child welfare’s” ACEs evangelists are saying the quiet part out loud. 

● Family advocates and defenders in New York have released a series of recommendations for narrowing the front door to family policing. The Imprint has a story. 

● In Reason, Lenore Skenazy tells the story of a Connecticut mother who dared to let her seven-year-old walk a mile home. 

● Remember all that fearmongering about the supposed need to rush to reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic – because, after all, what could be more dangerous for children than staying home away from the watchful eyes of mandated reporters, right?   That myth was, of course, thoroughly debunked.  And now there’s a study showing another way lockdown made children safer: a decline in teen suicide. 

And finally … 

● Moms are doing drugs during their kids’ play dates!!!  The few moms determined to stay sober are succumbing to peer pressure!!!  Call CPS!!! Well, that’s how the story would be covered if the moms were poor and nonwhite.  But these moms are neither – and since their drug of choice is wine, the only problem is the peer pressure, according to this column from The Washington Post.  The column is filled with stories about these drug-using moms extolling the joys of their drug.  In fact, it’s an entire “wine mom culture”!