I hope you’re kicking off your week with a paid holiday!
In this week’s column (out Wednesday) we’ll talk some about the fact that adults are always trying to determine what’s in a child’s best interests, when in reality we need to figure out what rights children in situations of parental conflict or incapacity have. Here are some news items that highlight the issue:
Should parents who violently abuse their partner or spouse also lose parental rights? In Spain, the issue of vicarious violence is in the news. The argument is that parents who commit violence against a partner are also dangerous to their children. We already apply the same principle in our aggravated circumstances policies, 42 USC 671 (a)(15)(D), where the law does not require the reunification of a child with a parent who has killed or severely abused a sibling. That latter principle has been challenged as unconstitutional in a case I noted last week.
In this corner we have Naomi Schaefer Riley, who argues that the system is too biased in favor of keeping kids with their families. In the other corner is the Movement for Family Power and similar advocates who claim the Adoption and Safe Families Act — the one that gave us the “aggravated circumstances” exception to reasonable efforts — is the “crime bill of child welfare” because it unfairly targets and punishes minority families living in poverty. So where are the child’s rights in all of this? More on that later this week — feel free to weigh in beforehand.
Foster parents are important, and wise child welfare leaders listen to their recommendations and concerns. (Are they fictive kin, though?)
A few other interesting notes:
We need more of this.
In China, parents are abducting children. Aren’t there laws against that in China? Oh, never mind.
This study claims child physical abuse soared in the early months of the pandemic. That’s not in line with data we had in Georgia, but I’d be interested in knowing if y’all have other data on this issue.
Ohio’s legislature is considering a bill of rights for children in foster care.
Richard Wexler still hates CASA. Some things never change.
As always, send me any ideas you have for news items or columns!