1 Holden, V. M. (2018, July 25). Slavery and America’s legacy of family separation. African American Intellectual History Society. https://www.aaihs.org/slavery-and-americas-legacy-of-family-separation/

2 Roberts, D. (2002). Shattered bonds: The color of child welfare. Basic Books. https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/dorothy-roberts/shattered-bonds/9780465070596/

3 Estes, N. (2016, August 17). Native liberation: The way forward. The Red Nation. http://therednation.org/native-liberation-the-way-forward/  

4 O‘Connor, S. (2004). Orphan trains: The story of Charles Loring Brace and the children he saved and failed. University of Chicago Press. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/O/bo3630532.html

5 Lash, D. (2017). When the welfare people come: Race and class in the US child protection system. Haymarket Books. https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1052-when-the-welfare-people-come

6 Lawrence-Webb, C. (1997). African American children in the modern child welfare system: A legacy of the Flemming rule. Child Welfare, 76(1), 9-30.

7 Kim, H., Wildeman, C., Jonson-Reid, M., & Drake, B. (2017). Lifetime prevalence of investigating child maltreatment among US children. American Journal of Public Health, 107(2), 274-280.  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303545

8 Yi, Y., Edwards, F. R., & Wildeman, C. (2020). Cumulative prevalence of confirmed maltreatment and foster care placement for US children by race/ethnicity, 2011–2016. American Journal of Public Health, 110(5), 704-709. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2019.305554

9 For a summary of several recent reform efforts, see Miller, O., & Esenstad, A. (2015). Strategies to reduce racially disparate outcomes in child welfare. Center for the Study of Social Policy. https://cssp.org/resource/strategies-to-reduce-racially-disparate-outcomes-in-child-welfare/

10 For a summary of research on racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system, see Dettlaff, A. J., & Boyd, R. (2020). Racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system: Why do they exist, and what can be done to address them? ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 692, 253-274. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716220980329

11 We look to the description of racial capitalism used by Ruth Wilson Gilmore in Geographies of Racial Capitalism with Ruth Wilson Gilmore-An Antipode Foundation film (2020). Most simply, Wilson Gilmore states, “Capitalism requires inequality and racism enshrines it.”

12 To better understand reproductive justice, see the work of Sister Song.  https://www.sistersong.net/reproductive-justice

13 For summaries of harms that result from family separation and foster care, see Trivedi, S. (2019). The harm of child removal. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 43, 523-580. https://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/all_fac/1085; and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform summary of studies documenting the harmful outcomes of foster care.

14 Puzzanchera, C., & Taylor, M. (2021). Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care Dashboard. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. https://ncjj.org/AFCARS/Disproportionality_Dashboard.aspx

15 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. The AFCARS report: Preliminary FY2019 estimates as of June 23, 2020. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cb/afcarsreport27.pdf

16 We point to poverty as an overwhelming cause for child welfare intervention because poverty underscores how racial capitalism and economic exploitation determines which families and communities are most likely to experience family policing. The conflation of poverty with neglect results in children being separated from their parents due to reasons unrelated to serious harm. When harm does occur, we seek solutions for harm that are non-carceral and do not rely on state-sanctioned separation. Yet understanding the difference between poverty and neglect is not to further entrench binaries of good and bad parents, but rather to better understand how the system punishes poverty. For more, see Roberts, D. & Sangoi, L. (2018, March 26). Black families matter: How the child welfare system punishes poor families of color. The Appeal. https://theappeal.org/black-families-matter-how-the-child-welfare-system-punishes-poor-families-of-color-33ad20e2882e/ and Schenwar, M. & Law, V. (2020, July 31). How the foster care system punishes the poor. In These Times. https://inthesetimes.com/article/foster-care-punish-poor-child-welfare-prison

17 Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2019). Definitions of child abuse and neglect. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/define/

18 Chetty, R., Hendren, N., Jones, M., & Porter, S. (2019). Race and economic opportunity in the United States: An intergenerational perspective. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 135(2) 711 783. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjz042 For an introduction to racial capitalism, see Melamed, J. (2015). Racial capitalism. Critical Ethnic Studies, 1(1), 76-85. https://doi.org/10.5749/jcritethnstud.1.1.0076, and Quan, H. L. T. (Ed.). (2019). Cedric J. Robinson: On racial capitalism, Black internationalism, and cultures of resistance. Pluto Press. https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvr0qs8p

19 See Roberts, D. PBS Frontline Essay: Race and Class in the Child Welfare System, and Roberts, D. (2002). Shattered bonds: The color of child welfare. Basic Books. https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/dorothy-roberts/shattered-bonds/9780465070596/

20 Edwards, L. (2018, December 5). Ignoring reasonable efforts: How courts fail to promote prevention. The Imprint. https://imprintnews.org/top-stories/ignoring-reasonable-efforts-why-court-system-fail-promote-prevention/32974

21 Webster, R. A. (2019, November 25). One judge’s tough approach to foster care: It’s only for the really extreme cases. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/one-judges-tough-approach-to-foster-care-its-only-for-the-really-extreme-cases/2019/11/24/bd2dd322-0a4c-11ea-97ac-a7ccc8dd1ebc_story.html

22 See Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2020). Differential response: A primer for child welfare professionals. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/differential_response.pdf

23 Smith, B. D. (2008). Child welfare service plan compliance: Perceptions of parents and caseworkers. Families In Society, 89(4), 521-532. https://doi.org/10.1606/1044-3894.3818

24 For example, see the 2012 Institutional Analysis of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services, which identified multiple structural barriers to compliance: https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Child-Welfare-Practice_Creating-a-Successful-Climate-for-Change.pdf

25 Ibid.

26 Haskins, R. (2021). Child welfare financing: What do we fund, how, and what could be improved? The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 692, 50-67. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0002716220970909

27 National Conference of State Legislatures. (2020, October 30). Congregate care, residential treatment and group home state legislative enactments 2014-2019. https://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/congregate-care-and-group-home-state-legislative-enactments.aspx

28 Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, Public Law 105-89 (1997). https://www.congress.gov/105/plaws/publ89/PLAW-105publ89.pdf

29 See for example Miller, M. (2008). Racial disproportionality in Washington state’s child welfare system. Washington State Institute for Public Policy. https://www.wsipp.wa.gov/ReportFile/1018/Wsipp_Racial-Disproportionality-in-Washington-States-Child-Welfare-System_Full-Report.pdf; and Huggins-Hoyt, K. Y., Briggs, H. E., Mowbray, O., & Allen, J. L. (2019). Privatization, racial disproportionality and disparity in child welfare: Outcomes for foster children of color. Children and Youth Services Review, 99, 125-131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.01.041

30 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. The AFCARS report: Preliminary FY2019 estimates as of June 23, 2020. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cb/afcarsreport27.pdf

31 Ibid.

32 For reviews see Dettlaff, A. J., & Boyd, R. (2020). Racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system: Why do they exist, and what can be done to address them? ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 692, 253-274. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716220980329; and Pryce, J., & Yelick, A. (2021). Racial disproportionality and disparities among African American children in the child welfare system. In Dettlaff, A. J. (Ed.), Racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system (pp. 45-68). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54314-3_4

33 Puzzanchera, C., & Taylor, M. (2021). Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care Dashboard. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. https://ncjj.org/AFCARS/Disproportionality_Dashboard.aspx

34 Many have addressed this. For examples see: Miller, K., Cahn, K., & Orellana, E. R. (2012). Dynamics that contribute to racial disproportionality and disparity: Perspectives from child welfare professionals, community partners, and families. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 2201-2207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.07.022; and Eamon, M. K., & Kopels, S. (2004). ‘For reasons of poverty’: Court challenges to child welfare practices and mandated programs. Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 821-836. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2004.02.023.

35 Smith, B. D. (2018). Child welfare service plan compliance: Perceptions of parents and caseworkers. Families In Society, 89(4), 521-532. https://doi.org/10.1606/1044-3894.3818.

36 The Justice in Government Project. (2021). Key studies and data about how legal aid helps keep families together and out of the child welfare system. https://www.american.edu/spa/jpo/toolkit/upload/foster-care-8-8-19.pdf

37 Gerber, L. A., Pang, Y. C., Ross, T., Guggenheim, M., Pecora, P. J., & Miller, J. (2019). Effects of an interdisciplinary approach to parental representation in child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 102, 42-55. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019074091930088X.

38 Fong, K. (2017). Child welfare involvement and contexts of poverty: The role of parental adversities, social networks, and social services. Children and Youth Services Review, 72, 5-13. https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/kfong/files/fong_cysr_postprint.pdf

39 Ogongi, W., & Community Legal Services. (2012, August). Barriers to successful reunification of children with their families after foster care. Stoneleigh Foundation. https://stoneleighfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Ogongi.Moving-the-Dial.pdf

40 Yamat, A. M. (2020). The foster care to prison pipeline. Justice Policy Journal, 17(2). http://www.cjcj.org/uploads/cjcj/documents/the_foster_care_to_prison_pipeline.pdf

41 See Goff, P. A., Jackson, M. C., Di Leone, B. A. L., Culotta, C. M., & DiTomasso, N. A. (2014). The essence of innocence: Consequences of dehumanizing Black children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(4), 526-545. https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-a0035663.pdf; and Epstein, R., Blake, J. J., & Gonzalez, T. (n.d.). Girlhood interrupted: The erasure of Black girls’ childhood. Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown Law. https://www.law.georgetown.edu/poverty-inequality-center/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/08/girlhood-interrupted.pdf

42 For summaries of outcomes among youth in congregate care settings, see Casey Family Programs. (2018, February 5). What are the outcomes for youth placed in congregate care settings? https://www.casey.org/what-are-the-outcomes-for-youth-placed-in-congregate-care-settings/; and National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. (n.d.). Residential treatment: What the research tells us. http://bit.ly/RTCfail

43 For summaries of harms that result from family separation and foster care, see Trivedi, S. (2019). The harm of child removal. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 43, 523-580. https://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/all_fac/1085; and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform summary of studies documenting the harmful outcomes of foster care.

44 Shrifter, C. N. (2012). Child welfare and delinquency: Examining differences in first-time referrals of crossover youth within the juvenile justice system. Dissertations and Theses by PDXScholar. https://doi.org/10.15760/etd.649

45 Irvine, A., & Canfield, A. (2016). The overrepresentation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, gender nonconforming and transgender youth within the child welfare to juvenile justice crossover population. Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, 24(2). http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/jgspl/vol24/iss2/2

46 See Roberts, D. (2002). Shattered bonds: The color of child welfare. Basic Books. https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/dorothy-roberts/shattered-bonds/9780465070596/

47 Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2019, April). Mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/manda/

48 See Fong, K. (2020). Getting eyes in the home: Child protective services investigations and state surveillance of family life. American Sociological Review, 85(4), 610-638. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122420938460; and Raz, M. (2020). Abusive policies: How the American child welfare system lost its way. University of North Carolina Press. https://uncpress.org/book/9781469661216/abusive-policies/

49 Many studies have documented biases that impact reports to child maltreatment hotlines. For summaries, see Dettlaff, A. J., & Boyd, R. (2020). Racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system: Why do they exist, and what can be done to address them? ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 692, 253-274. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716220980329; and Raz, M. (2020). Calling child protective services is a form of community policing that should be used appropriately: Time to engage mandatory reporters as to the harmful effects of unnecessary reports. Children and Youth Services Review, 110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.104817

50 Fong, K. (2019). Concealment and constraint: Child protective services fears and poor mothers’ institutional engagement. Social Forces, 97(4), 1785–1810. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/soy093

51 Khan, Y. (2019, June 12). Changes proposed for a system that stigmatizes parents accused of child neglect. WNYC News. https://www.wnyc.org/story/state-system-meant-keep-children-safe-actually-hinders-family-stability-advocates-say/

52 For more on the harms that result from registries, see Chapter 3 in Schenwar, M., & Law, V. (2020). Prison by any other name: The harmful consequences of popular reforms. The New Press. https://thenewpress.com/books/prison-by-any-other-name

53 Movement for Family Power. (2020, June). “Whatever they do, I’m her comfort, I’m her protector.” How the foster system has become ground zero for the U.S. drug war. https://www.movementforfamilypower.org/ground-zero

54 Burke, K. D. (2007). Substance-exposed newborns: Hospital and child protection responses. Children and Youth Services Review, 29(12), 1503-1519. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2007.06.007

55 See Fong, K. (2020). Getting eyes in the home: Child protective services investigations and state surveillance of family life. American Sociological Review, 85(4), 610-638. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122420938460; and Fong, K. (2019). Concealment and constraint: Child protective services fears and poor mothers’ institutional engagement. Social Forces, 97(4), 1785–1810. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/soy093

56 Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2019). Definitions of child abuse and neglect. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/define/. For examples of how this disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx children, see Keierleber, M. (2020, December 14). How missing zoom classes could funnel kids into the juvenile justice system – and why some experts say now is the time to reform truancy rules. The 74 Million. https://www.the74million.org/article/how-missing-zoom-classes-could-funnel-kids-into-the-juvenile-justice-system-and-why-some-experts-say-now-is-the-time-to-reform-truancy-rules/; and Richman, T. (2021, March 31). Some North Texas students and parents facing court for classes missed during the pandemic. The Dallas Morning News. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2021/03/31/some-north-texas-students-and-parents-facing-court-for-classes-missed-during-the-pandemic/

57 For example, see Aslam, M. (2021, June 1). In Travis County, Black children more likely to be taken from parents. Texas Observer. https://www.texasobserver.org/in-travis-county-black-children-more-likely-to-be-taken-from-parents/

58 Glaberson, S. K. (2019). Coding over the cracks: Predictive analytics and child protection. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 46. https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol46/iss2/3

59 Pearl, B. (2018, June 27). Ending the war on drugs: By the numbers. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/criminal-justice/reports/2018/06/27/452819/ending-war-drugs-numbers/

60 Ibid.

61 Hogan, T. M. S., Myers, B. J., & Elswick, R. K. (2006). Child abuse potential among mothers of substance-exposed and nonexposed infants and toddlers. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30(2), 145-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2005.10.007

62 Duff, P., Shoveller, J., Chettiar, J., Feng, C., Nicoletti, R., & Shannon, K. (2015). Sex work and motherhood: Social and structural barriers to health and social services for pregnant and parenting street and off-street sex workers. Health Care for Women International, 36(9), 1039-1055. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469630/

63 Albright, E., & D’Adamo, K. (2017). Decreasing human trafficking through sex work decriminalization. AMA Journal of Ethics, 19(1), 122-126. https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/decreasing-human-trafficking-through-sex-work-decriminalization/2017-01

64 For example, see Hirt, S. (2020, December 16). Florida blames mothers when men batter them – then takes away their children. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/story-series/2020/12/16/florida-blames-mothers-when-men-batter-them-then-takes-their-children/6507973002/

65 Ibid.

66 For a summary of disparities impacting parents with disabilities, see National Council on Disability. (2012, September 27). Rocking the cradle: Ensuring the rights of parents with disabilities and their children. https://www.ncd.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/NCD_Parenting_508_0.pdf

67 Kaba, M. (2021). We do this ‘til we free us: Abolitionist organizing and transforming justice. Haymarket Books. https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1664-we-do-this-til-we-free-us

68 Many have written about this. For recent pieces, see Minoff, E. (2018, October). Entangled roots: The role of race in policies that separate families. Center for the Study of Social Policy. https://cssp.org/resource/entangled-roots and Briggs, L. (2020). Taking children: A history of American terror. University of California Press. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520385771/taking-children

69 In the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights 2018 report, Broken promises: Continuing federal funding shortfall for Native Americans, the Commission documented the federal government’s historic failure to carry out its promises and trust obligations. These failures included longstanding and continuing disregard for tribes’ infrastructure, self-governance, housing, education, health, and economic development. The Commission found these failures created a civil rights crisis in the United States. Despite some progress, the crisis remains, and the federal government continues to fail to adequately support the social and economic welfare of Native Americans.

70 For example, American Psychiatric Association’s January 28, 2021 news release, APA’s apology to Black, Indigenous and people of color for its support of structural racism in psychiatry.

71 Ritchie, A. et al. (2019). Reparations now toolkit. Movement for Black Lives. https://m4bl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Reparations-Now-Toolkit-FINAL.pdf

72 See Minoff, E. et al. (2020, December). What we owe young children: An anti-racist policy platform for early childhood. Center for the Study of Social Policy. https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/What-We-Owe-Young-Children.pdf

73 Minoff, E. (2020, February). The racist roots of work requirements. Center for the Study of Social Policy. https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Racist-Roots-of-Work-Requirements-CSSP-1.pdf

74 Minoff, E. (2019). What do “work requirements” actually require? A look at programs that meet families’ basic needs in Montgomery County, Maryland. Center for the Study of Social Policy. https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Policy-What-do-%E2%80%9CWork-Requirements%E2%80%9D-Actually-Require.pdf

75 Mani, A., Mullainathan, S., Shafir, E., & Zhao, J. (2013). Poverty impedes cognitive function. Science, 341(6149), 976-980. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1238041

76 See Minoff, E. et al. (2020, December). What we owe young children: An anti-racist policy platform for early childhood. Center for the Study of Social Policy. https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/What-We-Owe-Young-Children.pdf

77 Ibid.

78 Altiraifi, A. (2020, April 7). A deadly poverty trap: Asset limits in the time of coronavirus. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/disability/news/2020/04/07/482736/deadly-poverty-trap-asset-limits-time-coronavirus/

79 For examples, see Spade, D. (2020). Mutual aid: Building solidarity during this crisis (and the next). Verso. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/667900/mutual-aid-by-dean-spade/ and Climate Justice Alliance. (2020, May 13). What is mutual aid? A primer by the Climate Justice Alliance. https://climatejusticealliance.org/what-is-mutual-aid-a-primer-by-the-climate-justice-alliance/

80 For examples, see National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Communities in action: Pathways to health equity. The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24624

81 For ideas about more equitable approaches to evidence, see the work of the Equitable Evaluation Initiative at https://www.equitableeval.org/

82 As an example, see the 2012 Institutional Analysis of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services: https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Child-Welfare-Practice_Creating-a-Successful-Climate-for-Change.pdf

83 For one way of understanding characteristics of White Supremacy culture, see the work of Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones at https://www.dismantlingracism.org/white-supremacy-culture.html

84 Weber, K., & Morrison, S. (2021). The Institutional Analysis: A tool for diagnosing structural contributors to racial disproportionality and disparity in child welfare. In Dettlaff, A. J. (Ed.), Racial Disproportionality and Disparities in the Child Welfare System (pp. 375-395). https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-54314-3_19

85 Martin, M., & Citrin, A. (2019, May). Supporting all families: Financing streams to support prevention programs. Center for the Study of Social Policy. https://cssp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Policy-Financing-a-Comprehensive-Prevention-Continuum.pdf

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