Fighting for Her Name
Welcome to Pennsylvania’s ChildLine Registry… where parents can be labeled as child abusers for life with no right to a hearing. In 2004, Angela West and six coworkers were placed on the ChildLine Registry after a child at their job developed unexplained bruising. Ms. West fought to clear her name for 18 years before finally winning her appeal, but she could not get living wage jobs in her field or volunteer at her grandchildren’s schools during that time. Angela West and CLS Attorney Tracie Johnson discuss the racialized harm of Pennsylvania’s ChildLine Registry and imagine better ways to protect children from abuse and neglect. Trigger Warning: This conversation pertains to the topic of child abuse, and may not be appropriate for young people. Guests: Tracie Johnson is the lead Staff Attorney for the Youth Justice Project at Community Legal Services where she connects young people ages 16-24 to free legal help with criminal records, public benefits, housing, debt, and their families. Angela West works in direct support for men and women with mental health challenges. As an advocate, Ms. West is the lead petitioner in CLS’s ChildLine Registry lawsuit A.W. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.