Tuesday, May 2, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending May 2, 2023

Not a lot of news this week, but one story is stunning:

● Back in 2020 the Albany Times Union reported on how, after New York State reopened the right to sue for child sexual abuse, officials were stunned by how often the accused were not priests – but foster parents and staff at group homes and institutions.  Now, the Los Angeles Times reports, California is making the same discovery:

County officials predicted that they may be forced to spend between $1.6 billion and $3 billion to resolve roughly 3,000 claims of sexual abuse that allegedly took place in the county's foster homes, children shelters, and probation camps and halls dating to the 1950s. ... Veteran sex abuse attorneys are calling for an outside investigation, saying that not even they realized the full scope of the alleged abuse taking place in county facilities. 

Experts say the volume is unlike anything they've heard of in local government. … “[I]f it's true, it would be the most massive sex abuse scandal imaginable," said Stewart Mollrich, an attorney with Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, one of the law firms specializing in sex abuse claims that is suing the county. 

So remember, when the fearmongers say that anything that curbs the vast power of the family police will endanger children – this is the system we have now; this is the system they say we need to keep in order to keep children “safe.” 

● And if anyone is tempted to say: Oh, but those cases were in the past, take a look at what KCRA-TV in Sacramento reports is happening right now. 

● With the case of a Black child torn from her parents almost at birth because the mother was guilty of Giving Birth While Black, Yahoo News examines pervasive racial bias in family policing.

● Why wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to, possibly, eviscerate the Indian Child Welfare Act when you can do it yourself? That seems to be the philosophy of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which has come up with a bizarre way to undermine tribal sovereignty.

● NCPR's take on the harm of predictive analytics in child welfare was featured on KPFA Pacifica Radio's Evening News.  You can hear the interview starting at 25:09 in.

● The federal government report that compiles data on rates of child abuse specifically warns against trying to use those data to compare states.  Of course, the fearmongers in the child welfare establishment regularly ignore this, and children pay the price.  I have a blog post about the latest case in point.