Monday, September 4, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending September 5, 2023

● When children are torn from everyone they know and love, the emotional trauma is enormous.  It is made even worse if the children can’t even visit their parents.  Yet in Hawaii, Honolulu Civil Beat reports, children can be cut off from so much as seeing their parents unless the parents confess to abuse or neglect – even if they never abused or neglected the child.  

As NCCPR told Civil Beat: 

In effect, DHS is holding children hostage, requiring false confessions before a parent can even see a child.  But if the parent confesses, then they can never be proven innocent – and that in itself increases the likelihood that the child will lose her or his parents forever. 

● So much of what has gone so wrong has its roots in one terrible law, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.  The Repeal CAPTA Coalition has an online teach-in on Sept. 11 explaining how we got into this mess – and how to get out.  You can register here. 

● New York City’s family defenders have issued written testimony to the New York Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The committee is studying racism in the New York family policing system – including the courts.  The testimony is a report in itself.  But be warned: If you read the testimony, or even this NCCPR Blog post about it, it may “undermine [your] confidence in the court’s impartiality.” And we can’t have that! 

● In Virginia WSLS-TV has an update on a case of wrongful removal so egregious even the state’s child welfare “ombudsman” is skeptical. 

● In this week’s edition of The Horror Stories Go in All Directions, we’re learning more about nine-year-old Jakob Blodgett, an Arizona boy who died of complications from untreated diabetes just 18 days after being taken from his father and placed in a group home.  From a story by KNXV-TV:   

“They need to accept responsibility because the Arizona Department of Child Safety killed Jacob Blodgett,” said Attorney Robert Pastor who is representing Jakob’s father. 

(And, by the way, why is Arizona putting nine-year-olds in group homes in the first place?)