The story public family law tells about parenthood is both inaccurate and normatively misguided. Parents are deemed “bad” because of their need for state support, and the parent-child relationship is accordingly devalued. This devaluation has resulted in costly and ineffective child welfare policies, embodied in the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and related state laws. Child maltreatment costs an estimated $103.8 billion annually, yet its incidence is not decreasing. Thousands of youth “age out” of foster care each year as legal orphans, with no connection to a family and very poor prospects.
This Article explores the consequences of this flawed framework, including the failure to recognize the socioeconomic factors underlying most child maltreatment and the disregard for the real ties between parents and children after families are separated. It argues that child welfare policies will not succeed until the underlying parenthood framework changes; implicit cognitive biases channel even new interventions in a way that stigmatizes marginalized families and over-prioritizes adoption as a panacea. This Article concludes by considering some promising paths to remapping public parenthood, incorporating lessons from the public health preventive approach and from the private family law system’s disaggregation of parental rights and responsibilities.
Symposium: Reforming Child Protection Law: A Public Health Approach Introduction by Introduction by Marsha Garrison, J.D. and Cynthia Godsoe, J.D.
Taking the Risks Out of Child Protection Risk Analysis Marsha Garrison, J.D.
Neuroscience and the Child Welfare System Clare Huntington, J.D.
Public Health Approaches to Child and Parent Screening: Implications for Child Protection Sheila Smith, Ph.D.
Just Intervention: Differential Response in Child Protection Cynthia Godsoe, J.D.
Assessing Public Health Strategies for Advancing Child Protection: Human Trafficking as a Case Study Jonathan Todres, J.D.
Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Study the Relationship Between Sources and Types of Funding and Mental Health Outcomes for Children Served by the Child Welfare System in Ohio Susan Vivian Mangold, J.D, Catherine Cerulli, J.D., Ph.D., Gregory Kapcar, Crystal Ward Allen, Kim Kaukeinen, And Hua He, Ph.D.
Remarks Delivered April 13, 2012 to the Brooklyn Law School Symposium on Reforming Child Protection Law: A Public Health Approach Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelson, J.D., Ph.D.
I’ve been behind on posting the news, but what a news week it has been:
News #1. Judge Antonio Marin allows a three-person adoption: two moms and a dad. DO NOT read the comments unless you want your eyes to roll out of your head.
News #2. Judge Michael Hanzman writes a very long order giving AHCA and DCF hell over admission of severely ill kids into residential treatment. I have my own wordy thoughts on this topic, which will wait for another day. For now: great job, Judge Hanzman.
This Article analyzes how the U.S. prison and foster care systems work together to punish black mothers in the service of preserving race, gender, and class inequality in a neoliberal age. The intersection of these systems is only one example of many forms of overpolicing that overlap and converge in the lives of poor women of color. I examine the statistical overlap between the prison and foster care populations, the simultaneous explosion of both systems in recent decades, the injuries that each system inflicts on black communities, and the way in which their intersection in the lives of black mothers helps to naturalize
social inequality. I hope to elucidate how state mechanisms of surveillance and punishment function jointly to penalize the most marginalized women in our society while blaming them for their own disadvantaged positions.
Robin Rosenberg and Sarah Campbell are proposing the use of next friends to assert a child’s request for an attorney in dependency proceedings. The next friend would then have standing to appeal a denial of the order to appoint counsel. Has anyone tried this?
I was prepared to eye-roll, but this ACYF memo is the most comprehensive government document on psych meds I have seen yet.
Until all drugs are properly studied in the populations for which they are being used, the lack of specific evidence-based recommendations reinforces the need for close supervision and monitoring for patients receiving psychotropic medication for off-label uses.
A few months ago, the Florida Legal Needs of Children Committee put on a panel to discuss ethical issues in the representation of children. The video is here. I haven’t had a chance to review it fully yet, because it is LONG.