Tuesday, June 13, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending June 13, 2023

--How many times have you read what journalists covering child welfare call “the fatality series”?  Most of the time, they get it wrong.  Last week, the Detroit News did “the fatality series” – and got it right.  In the process they exposed the failure of one of those awful McLawsuits the group that calls itself “Children’s Rights” brings all over the country. I have a blog post about it all, with a link to the full series. 

--In Minnesota, which has America’s worst record for family police bias against Native Americans, Minnesota Public Radio reports on how Native social workers are trying to teach their non-native colleagues stuff they should have learned in social work school, but apparently didn’t.  It’s a worthy effort, but training is no substitute for due process. 

--A little more of what those social workers, and the rest of us, need to know, is available with the creation of an online archive of records of so-called “boarding schools” run by the Catholic Church.  The Imprint has a story. 

--Speaking of due process for families, in Montana, lawmakers were unable to override the Governor’s veto of a bill that would have gone a long way toward proving it.  But the fact that legislation which, a few years ago, could not even have been discussed, got this far is a big step forward.  It means that, just maybe, Montana’s days as perennial contender for Child Removal Capital of America might be numbered. 

--In The Imprint, three experts write that. in addition to all the other harm broad, vague definitions of "neglect" do, they also compromise healthy childhood development by impeding reasonable childhood independence. 

--When St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger reached out to me for a comment on a case in which his view is sympathetic to a couple who want to be foster parents, he had every right to ignore my dissenting view – he’s an opinion writer, and is ethically free to promote his own views and the views of those who agree.  Instead, he decided to offer all sides and let readers decide. So now you can, too.  (It would be a good idea if more news reporters on the “child welfare” beat, who really do have an obligation to report the perspectives they disagree with, fulfilled that obligation.)