Show: How Is That Legal?: Breaking Down Systemic Racism One Law at a Time

Child Welfare or Family Policing?

More than one in ten Black children in America will be forcibly separated from their parents and placed in foster care by the time they reach age eighteen. Professor Dorothy Roberts joins us to discuss the racialized history of parenting, family autonomy, and the child welfare system. From the role of slavery in framing the Black mother to disastrous 90s legislation rooted in racial stereotypes, Professor Roberts makes the case that child welfare was designed to punish the most disenfranchised communities instead of to protect children. After over thirty years of research, Roberts concludes that abolition is the only way to end the trauma caused by what she calls family policing. Guest: Dorothy Roberts (@DorothyERoberts) is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology, the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and a professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her newest book, Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families– and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World is available today.
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