A roundup of some of The Imprint’s most impactful stories from the past year
This year saw fervent discussion and some action on protecting the rights of parents who find themselves involved with the child welfare system. Early legal counsel, the termination of parental rights, and ideas around peer support were among the key issues covered by The Imprint in 2021.
When the Clock is Cruel: In a partnership between The Imprint and Type Investigations, Sylvia A. Harvey tells the story of Charles Redding, one of the tens of thousands of parents working to get his kids back before so-called permanency timelines dictate that the state seek to sever his rights and move toward other options.
In interviews with lawyers, family members and child welfare advocates in at least six states, it’s clear that child welfare timelines have imposed unfair burdens and an unreasonable expectation for parents who — even under normal circumstances — have difficulty complying with court orders to get their kids back.
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), a longtime leader on child welfare issues in Congress, introduced legislation that would dramatically change the federal requirements around termination of parental rights.
In a tumultuous legislative session in Texas, a slate of bipartisan bills ushered in new legal guarantees for parents accused of abuse and neglect, and protection from unnecessary parental rights terminations.
In New York City, the fight continues for legislation to require a Miranda-style warning that would require child protection workers to inform parents of their right to legal counsel at the start of an investigation for possible abuse or neglect. A bill to that effect was discussed by the city council, but ultimately failed to get a vote.
In Los Angeles, a group of parents who once lost their children to foster care have returned to help their peers.
Listen: In a two-part interview with The Imprint Weekly Podcast, child welfare consultant Corey Best discussed his own experience with termination of parental rights, and shared his thoughts on reporting hotlines, the Family First Prevention Services Act and more.