The Tyranny of the Child Welfare System - Part 1
PART 1 OF 2!
Threatening to separate families that don’t conform to colonizer norms is as old as the United States itself. This threat and the actual removal of children from their families has been institutionalized in what is now known as the modern child welfare system.
Most social workers are familiar with some iteration of the child welfare system. In fact, popular opinion would probably have you (misguidedly) believe that social work IS child welfare. But really, what is this system that we call child welfare? Can the welfare of any and every child truly be determined by an entity founded on the norms of white middle-class heterosexual parenthood?
In this episode, we speak with our (first!) guest, CT, about their 20-year experience working in child welfare. They share some gripping accounts of how this system causes more harm than it prevents as well as how it disproportionately targets families of color - especially Black families - than white families. And not only is this a terrible system for families to get caught in, but it’s demoralizing, dangerous, and unsupportive for the social workers employed by this system as well.