The Imprint was fortunate to feature dozens of perspectives and analyses in our op-ed section this year. The following is a selection not necessarily of the best 10 pieces from 2023, but strong work that captures the breadth of topics within child welfare and youth justice that were written by Imprint columnists this year.
Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stunning 7-2 affirmation of the Indian Child Welfare Act in Brackeen v. Haaland. Months before that ruling, The Imprint published this column from the grandmother of one child involved in Brackeen, describing the stakes of this case for tribes and Indigenous families around the country.
Dr. Mauriell Amechi
Rhode Island learned valuable lessons about the academic outcomes of youth in foster care when it increased its data collection universe. Other states should join them, Amechi writes.
Nate Balis and Marc Schindler
The Annie E. Casey Foundation collected the most consistent data on patterns of juvenile detention since the COVID-19 pandemic began. What those numbers show persuades the two authors that the past few years have proven that a lower use of lockup is attainable without compromising safety.
Calls are growing for child welfare and other governmental systems to hand over more power to communities. DiLorenzo, a frequent columnist for The Imprint, writes that such actions are doomed to fail if the capacity of the community is not addressed.
Harder argues that instead of freaking out about the workforce crisis in child welfare, government agencies and providers should lean into solutions that will move them toward stronger efficiency.
Miriam Aroni Krinsky, Joey Orduña Hastings, and Mary Ann Scali
Authors argue that the fees and costs put on youth involved in the juvenile system are unjust and ineffective.
Wexler sharply critiques the movement in several states this year to remove exemptions around members of the clergy when it comes to reporting suspected child maltreatment.
Ruth Anne White
The federal Fostering Youth to Independence (FYI) program directs on-demand housing vouchers to youth as they exit foster care, but uptake has been slow in many states and counties. White, who helped a team of youth establish FYI, writes that not making use of the vouchers is an “unforgivable folly.”
The executive director of BreakFree Education, writes about how background checks affect one one of his former students in New Orleans.
Starting in 2022, McCarthy (the co-founder of the Family Policy Project) began a series of a dozen columns on the future of family support in New York City. The series, which concluded in September, includes pieces on restorative practice, shifting government money to community leaders, reparations and more.
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