ASCI CEO Authors Op-Ed for the Chronicle of Social Change
“In providing kinship care for more than 25 years, and being a child welfare professional for more than 35 years, I never sought to change the system White bureaucracies created for Black and Brown families — I have sought deconstruction. And because it is a system they created, I have made sure these White bureaucracies participate in deconstructing it.
This is how we will deconstruct child welfare:
- Delegitimize all adversarial Child Protective Services (CPS) policies and practices that bring African American families into the child welfare system.
- Refute the practices that regulate and punish Black and Brown families. This includes other White bureaucracies, such as education, that contribute to more children of color being removed from their homes than their White counterparts.
- Disallow any system that monitors African American families unjustly. African American women are confronted in family court and held to a higher parental standard than their White counterparts.
- Remove any barriers that disable African American families from mobilizing their own family response. We must see the evidence that demonstrates family conferences occur, all members of the family are invited and that plans are family-driven.
- We must eradicate anything that disempowers a Black or Brown family in the system. In cases of kinship care, family members with prior CPS history or inconsequential criminal records are often dismissed as a family resource.
- Engage African American scholars to examine the child welfare system from a Critical Race Theory perspective, in order to highlight how child welfare policies, practices and behaviors are rooted in norms that support a White-supremacy legal construct.”