Visit the upEND videos page to access recordings from our annual convening How We endUP | A Future without Family Policing held on October 26 – 27, 2021!
The child welfare system is predicated on the subjugation, surveillance, control, and punishment of mostly poor Black and Native children and families. We more accurately refer to this as the family policing system.* The system and its supporters portray family policing as a legitimate, supportive helping system—one that protects the safety and well-being of children through necessary state-sanctioned interventions. But the history and reality of the system’s impact on the lives of children, families, and communities underscores the ways in which the system functions to maintain anti-Blackness, White supremacy, racial capitalism, and colonialism. We can collectively do better.
How We endUP puts forth ideas about how we can, in community, improve support and care for children, youth, and families as we move towards the abolition of family policing. These ideas are intertwined and address what must be dismantled as well as what must be created and supported. This is not a prescription with detailed policy and practice recommendations—we believe that work must be done within communities. Our intention is to contribute to work already occurring and provoke new actions and innovations from others. We invite you to build on these ideas, share with us the actions you are undertaking, and let us know ideas we missed.
*We use the term family policing system to refer to what has more commonly been known as the child welfare system. We believe this term more accurately captures the roles this system plays in the lives of families, which include surveillance, regulation, and punishment, all roles associated with policing rather than children’s welfare. These roles are used to maintain the control and oppression of Black, Native, and Latinx families, which is also consistent with the practice of policing.
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