The child welfare system is predicated on the subjugation, surveillance, control, and punishment of mostly poor Black and Native children and families. – Upendmovement.org
upEND is a national organization fighting to uproot child protection services, referring to it as a “family policing service.” Child protective services remove children from their family for various reasons–most pertaining to the parents being “unfit.” These children are often put up for forced adoption, and if not adopted, are placed in foster care or group homes. The parents are then given legal restrictions and requirements to fulfill before having a chance at getting their child(ren) back, which can take time.
What can we do for vulnerable children that need better support?
The upEND, in support of abolishing “family policing,” connects parent(s) with resources that can help support the family in becoming healthy and self-supporting; as children are often taken away for instances relating to the legal system.
The family policing system criminalizes and punishes certain behaviors and identities, deeming certain parents as “good” and others as “bad,” which contributes to the separation of families. What is viewed as “good” and “bad” is almost always racialized, classed, queerphobic, and rooted in White supremacist beliefs and definitions of parenting and caregiving. We support ending the criminalization and punishment of stigmatized behavior or ways of being, as this punishment further marginalizes families and contributes to the separation of children from their families and communities. – Upendmovement.org
I had a friend who was put in foster care. I couldn’t visit her. She was only allocated a certain amount of time to hang outside. She could only eat whenever her foster mother offered her food (which was less than sufficient), and she wasn’t given love like her mother gave her. She was miserable, and I’ll never forget the toll foster care took on my friend when we were young. I, then, understood why it wasn’t my first time hearing “don’t tell those people (child protective services) nothing about what goes on in this house,” as a child. They had experienced it first hand.
How can we address the root of the issue without family separation?
#ReimagineChildSafety, a campaign co-lead by lawyer Chris Martin, was created after Martin served a recent case of a foster care child, a toddler, faced with severe abuse. The campaign is asking the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to end its Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) partnership with law enforcement, claiming terrorizing. 25% of the DCFS’s reports are from law enforcement.
The child welfare system traumatizes children and rips families apart. Far from helping, law enforcement only makes things worse. Their partnership must end now. – Campaigns.organizefor.org
The system disproportionately targets Black, Brown, and Indigenous children for surveillance and removal, actions that, even when well-intentioned, terrorize and traumatize families of color. – Campaigns.organizefor.org
How can we support families of color by removing the child and not the issue? How can we better support these families for better parental outcomes?