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Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare…

Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare

by Dorothy Roberts

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This is an excellent analysis of the US child welfare system and how ridiculously broken it is. While the general view of foster care is that children are only taken from their families when they are abused or grossly neglected, the truth is that many children (especially black children) are taken from their families for no reason other than that they are poor.

And because regardless of how true it is for individual cases, as a whole, biological parents are coded as black and foster parents are coded as white, so the government is willing to spend tons of money on foster parents (for example, in California, not only foster parents, but also parents who adopt through the state get paid monthly for each child until they turn eighteen, plus the children can go to any UC or Cal State school for free), but is unwilling to instead spend that money on helping poor families so that their kids aren't taken from them in the first place simply because they had too small an apartment or couldn't afford a babysitter or had no food in the house or were homeless.

The book lays out how the current system ends up harming not just children by taking them away (often unnecessarily) from their families but the black community in general, and the unconsious racism that drives the decisions to favor placing children in foster care and terminating parental rights rather than working to keep families together. ( )
  kyuuketsukirui | Mar 3, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465070590, Paperback)

Shattered Bonds is a stirring account of a worsening American social crisis--the disproportionate representation of black children in the U.S. foster care system and its effects on black communities and the country as a whole. Tying the origins and impact of this disparity to racial injustice, Dorothy Roberts contends that child-welfare policy reflects a political choice to address startling rates of black child poverty by punishing parents instead of tackling poverty's societal roots. Using conversations with mothers battling the Chicago child-welfare system for custody of their children, along with national data, Roberts levels a powerful indictment of racial disparities in foster care and tells a moving story of the women and children who earn our respect in their fight to keep their families intact.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"The first book in 30 years to consider the devastating social consequences of the overwhelming numbers of black children in the child-welfare system." "The story of foster care in the United States is the story of the failure of the social safety net to aid poor, largely black, parents in their attempt to make a home for their children. Shattered Bonds tells this story as no other book has before - from the perspective of a prominent black, female legal theoretician." "The current state of the child-welfare system in America is a well-known tragedy. Thousands of children every year are removed from their parents' homes, often for little reason other than the endemic poverty that afflicts women and children more than any other group in the U.S. Dorothy Roberts, an acclaimed legal scholar and social critic, reveals the racial politics of child welfare in America through extensive legal research and original interviews with Chicago families in the foster care system. She describes the racial imbalance in foster care, the concentration of state intervention in certain neighborhoods, the alarming percentages of children in substitute care, the difficulty that poor and black families have in meeting state's standards for regaining custody of children placed in foster care, and the relationship between state supervision of families and continuing racial inequality."--Jacket.… (more)

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