Tuesday, August 1, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending Aug 1, 2023

● Good news, Colorado!  Contrary to the fearmongering from the “residential treatment” industry, demon homicidal 6-year-olds are not rampaging through your state. I have a column about it in Colorado Newsline. 

Texas Monthly reports on those new laws curbing the power of the family police in that state.  Turns out they’re not the result of a vast right-wing conspiracy after all! According to the story: 

Several laws that passed this session make Texas the unlikely front-runner in limiting overreach by Child Protective Services by tightening statutes related to removals, informing parents of their rights, and banning anonymous reports of abuse to the state hotline. … [T]he reforms represent an unlikely alliance between conservative legislators and progressive-minded activists who are seeking to reduce the surveillance of poor and Black families by the state’s child welfare agency. 

● And KXXV-TV in Waco reports on whether one of those new laws might have prevented a foster-care tragedy, including perspective from NCCPR. 

● Rep. Gwen Moore has reintroduced the Family Poverty is Not Neglect Act.  As The Imprint reports, she knows what happens when the two are confused: 

“I know firsthand that in child welfare cases, where poverty is the only issue causing hardship, children benefit from remaining with their families and accessing the resources they need.” 

In a 2019 piece in The New Republic, Moore described her experience as an 18-year-old college student and being “temporarily forced to relinquish her own child to relative foster care.” Her legislation … would require child welfare agencies to provide supportive services to households in need of food, shelter and other basic assistance in order to prevent unnecessary family separation. 

● All over the country states, localities and private organizations are not waiting for Congress. The Imprint also has a story on the Mother’s Outreach Network Mother Up program in Washington, D.C., which will provide up to 50 impoverished families $500 per month in no-strings-attached cash. 

● Another state has decided to stop swiping foster children’s Social Security benefits.  New Mexico is showing how easy it is: You just stop doing it. Period.  

Boston Magazine has a searing expose about druggie moms rampaging through Massachusetts – or did they have something else in mind?  I have a blog post about it. 

● Some defenders of the “child welfare” status quo have been known to say: “If poverty is confused with neglect, why are there high rates of removal in some countries with strong social safety nets?”  I addressed the question in this column for Youth Today.  But the best answer is streaming on Netflix.  I finally caught up with Mrs. Chatterjee vs. Norway: 

But to really get a sense of just how racist authorities are in Norway, read how they defend themselves concerning the actual case on which the movie is based in this story from Turkish public broadcasting.

 And for those ready to go deeper: 

● Check out this series of essays discussing Dorothy Roberts’ Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families—and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World and Wendy Bach’s Prosecuting Poverty, Criminalizing Care.

 ● The author of one of those essays, Columbia Law Professor Jane Spinak has an important book just out: The End of Family Court: How Abolishing the Court Brings Justice to Children and Families