Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Not a System of Fostering Care

You may know that Ma’Khia Bryant — the 16-year-old Black girl who was shot and killed by a Columbus, Ohio, cop a half-hour after the Derek Chauvin verdict — was living in a foster care home. But you may not know the New York Times reported yesterday that her time in foster care started because her grandmother was evicted and so child services removed the children from her care.

In the Twitter thread by the Times writer, Bryce Covert, one response pointed out that the initial eviction was in violation of the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits evictions based on having children in a rental unit. Others responded that occupancy limits (per square foot) contradict that rule, creating a catch-22.

Others pointed out that it would have been both better for the children and cheaper for the state if the grandmother — who wanted to keep the children — had been able to keep the children. Paying her, even just for housing, would be cheaper than the amount paid to "professional" foster parents:

The really absurd thing is that the state had to shell out money every month to keep all four kids in foster care. They probably could have given the grandmother a lot less to help with housing.
Katherine Scofield

It's so bizarre to me. Most foster placements could have been kept in their homes (at less cost to the state!) with a social worker checking in regarding the initial concern. Who does it benefit to remove these kids, causing trauma and requiring a lot of money?

It's hard to process all of that and not take a comment like this at least somewhat seriously:

Everything in this country is designed to separate Black different from slavery...

Of course it is different from slavery in the specifics, but it has a whole lot too much in common with it.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

The Times article reminds me of a point in the recent New Yorker article about Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: that situations always have a backstory. The New Yorker article points out that the cautionary examples in Goleman’s book are not nearly as clear and simple as they’re supposed to appear.