We Shouldn’t Rely on Child Protective Services To Address Family Adversity

For many parents, it’s their worst fear: a knock on the door from a state social worker with the power to take their children. With 1 in 3 children nationwide experiencing a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation during childhood following a report of child maltreatment, this experience is all too common for U.S.


The Looming Housing Crisis and Child Protection Agencies

A few weeks ago, my client, a mother in a child protective case trying to regain custody of her children, informed my students she had lost her housing and was now homeless.

child welfare


Addressing Systemic Racism in Our Child Welfare System

Inequities have shaped our country since its founding. Centuries of discrimination have inflicted deep wounds, with disparate rates of COVID-19 infection and brutal policing being current symptoms of that troubled history.


The Time Has Come For Us To Stop Locking Up Other People’s Children

In the past two decades, there has been an increasing interest in the linkages between schools and carceral settings, or what has been termed, the “school to prison pipeline.” Much writing and activism around this topic has focused on severing those linkages in the K-12 context, often overlooking the other end of the pipeline (prison).



Child Welfare Must Keep To Its Permanency Timelines

Twenty-five years ago, I testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means to bring attention to the need for a new paradigm in foster care. The system needed to put a child’s need to love and be loved, to trust and to form attachments, as the paramount concern of a system that was established for children who were removed from their biological family due to abuse and neglect. 


No Child Should Be Tried As An Adult. Even Him.

Kenosha, Wis., dominated headline news in late August, due in part to the actions of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Illinois, who was arrested for allegedly killing two protesters and injuring a third.



Delete the Word ‘Grandfamilies’

For the past five years, the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), along with more than a dozen other states and the United States Senate and House, have issued resolutions/proclamations to commemorate September as “Kinship Care Month.”


On Coronavirus-School Decisions, Foster Parents Must Be at The Helm

Across the nation, parents have been wrestling with choices about their children returning to school during a global pandemic. There are no easy answers or one-size fits all options. 

Each choice feels fraught with dilemmas.


Key to Family First Act Success: Building Community Trust

Several years ago, I attended a Jesuit Leadership institute. The trainer shared a quote that I found relevant to my work at Casey Family Programs with public child welfare agencies and community-based primary prevention programs.