Tuesday, February 14, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending February 14, 2023

● Think you know all about the cases at the heart of the current challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act?  This story from Mother Jones will tell you a whole lot more about one of them – and why ICWA is so important.  (And note, in particular, the role of the “volunteer guardian ad litem” in the case. In Minnesota, where this case takes place, that’s the term they use for a CASA volunteer.) 

● For more about ICWA, listen to the Imprint podcast interview with Sandy White Hawk, author of the memoir A Child of the Indian Race: A Story of Return. 

● Children are always traumatized when torn from their parents.  On rare occasions inflicting that trauma is the least detrimental alternative.  But the trauma actually is compounded when the child is taken from a parent, almost always the mother, who is herself a victim of domestic violence.  One expert calls such a removal “tantamount to pouring salt into an open wound.”

A bill in Maryland would go a long way toward taking away the family police salt supply.  The Imprint has a story, we have a review of some of the research - and you can see the public hearing on the bill here, starting at 58:49 in:  

● The federal government released its annual Child Maltreatment report. It covers the year 2021, the first year when it was possible to assess the real impact of COVID-19 on children, child abuse – and family policing.  It turns out that Because of #COVID19: 

  -- The family police stepped back – investigating fewer cases and taking fewer children.

  --  Community-based mutual aid stepped up.

  -- The federal government stepped in with no-strings-attached cash for poor families. 

And now, the new federal report tells us: Instead of the pandemic of child abuse predicted by child welfare establishment fearmongers and their media allies, child abuse went down. The Imprint has a summary

● Stephen Colbert famously coined the word “truthiness” to describe the belief that something is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.  If you want to see truthiness in action, check out the mindless assault on kinship care being waged by some lawmakers in Kansas. 

KCPQ-TV Seattle reports on another case of a “child abuse pediatrician” allegedly running amok – compounded by a family policing agency that allegedly violated state law allowing parents to get a second opinion, and then misled a court. 

And in CommonWealth Magazine, Michael Dsida, deputy chief counsel of the Children and Family Law Division at the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, writes about what’s really wrong with family policing in that state: 

Factoring in poverty, DCF removes children from their homes at one of the highest rates in the country. Regularly separating Massachusetts children from their families does not make them safer. After all, the vast majority of DCF cases are rooted in poverty, not physical or sexual abuse. Instead, by removing children from their homes, schools, and communities, DCF regularly causes severe harm to children.