Tuesday, March 12, 2024

NCCPR News and commentary round-up, week ending March 12, 2024

● Last week, we noted a fascinating study by the NYC Family Policy Project revealing that New York State’s child abuse hotline screens out far fewer cases than the national average, inundating the localities that investigate the screened-in calls with false allegations, trivial cases and poverty-confused-with-neglect cases.  The Imprint has a good story on the report.  So does the New York Daily News And I have a blog post on the pathetic response from Jess Dannhauser, commissioner of New York City's Administration for Children's Services. (Be sure to see the response from the ACS flack at the end!)

CNN has a story about the civil rights complaint brought by Children’s Rights and the Minneapolis NAACP against the family policing systems in Minnesota’s largest counties. 

● It doesn’t get as much attention at the pervasive racism but there is another group of families who automatically have targets on their backs.  The Guardian has been following that issue for years, and has an in-depth report from a state that’s notorious for this kind of discrimination: Oregon. 

● Many people, especially in New England, know at least part of the story of Harmony Montgomery.  She was taken from her mother in Massachusetts and placed with her father in New Hampshire.  Then she disappeared. Her father has been convicted of killing her.  The case has been exploited by the Massachusetts “Child Advocate” Maria Mosaides as she seeks to make the family police even more powerful and even effectively silence children in court. 

What Mossaides wants us all to forget is the one person who truly loved and cared about Harmony: The person no one would listen to; the person who was written off from the start: Crystal Sorey — Harmony’s mother.  Now, the Boston Globe reports, Sorey is getting ready to sue those who really let Harmony down. 

And in The Hill, a call for radical change – from foster parents who write that such change should include: 

We should stop mandated reporting — doctors, teachers and social workers shouldn’t be acting as agents of the police. And we should discourage the use of child welfare hotlines, which all too often are used not for reporting real abuse but as means for harassment of a former intimate partner, a tenant or others. Keep reports confidential but not anonymous, and stop terrorizing already vulnerable children and parents, because this largely happens to poor people.