Foster Care as Punishment: The New Reality of ‘Jane Crow’
For women in New York’s poorer neighborhoods, the threat that a child will be removed to foster care for little cause is a grim reality.
“It takes a lot as a public defender to be shocked, but these are the kinds of cases you hear attorneys screaming about in the hall,” said Scott Hechinger, a lawyer at Brooklyn Defender Services. “There’s this judgment that these mothers don’t have the ability to make decisions about their kids, and in that, society both infantilizes them and holds them to superhuman standards. In another community, your kid’s found outside looking for you because you’re in the bathtub, it’s ‘Oh, my God’” — a story to tell later, he said. “In a poor community, it’s called endangering the welfare of your child.”
“We’ve inflicted the most devastating remedy we have on these families, then we’re basically saying, within a month, ‘Sorry, our mistake,’” [Sankaran] said. “And these families are left to deal with the consequences.”
Broad content warning – removal from family, people being arrested post-partum, mentions of suspected (not actual) child abuse – stuff in that vein.