Political Activism and Children
Most parents in child protection have themselves suffered from childhood trauma, compounded by societal injustices such as poor housing and jobs that don’t pay enough to live on.
Some activists believe that many parents screened into child protection aren’t maltreating their children, and bringing them into the system simply compounds past wrongs. Accordingly, they have promoted legislation that effectively restricts access to foster care, and policies that pressure workers to keep children at home.
We do need to re-examine whether current practices are bringing families into child protection inappropriately. But policies that restrict access to child welfare services across the board will cause some children to experience life-altering trauma longer than necessary, and create a new generation of injustices.
Activist proposals need to allow more room for nuanced, child-centered decisions.