“Stop-and-Frisk” for Caregivers: How Expanded Mandated Reporting Laws Hurt Families

A new article out in Truth-Out quotes Executive Director Charity Tolliver about the realities of mandated reporting. Some key quotes:

  • “These expansions of mandated reporting are often seen by the public as unquestionably beneficial, but they are rife with consequences.”
  • “Expanding mandated reporting is like stop-and-frisk,” Dorothy Roberts, author of Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare and a law professor at University of Pennsylvania, told Truthout. “Because of individual and institutionalized racial bias in child maltreatment reporting, like the bias in police surveillance, these seemingly neutral practices that are supposed to increase safety end up unjustly punishing people of color.”
  • “Tolliver does the math. “In Illinois, it costs $40,000 – $42,000 a year to keep a child in foster care, yet most families where that child lives are living below the poverty line.” She says it would make an “extraordinary difference” for that family to have access to even a portion of these resources. “
  • “‘We aren’t solving anything by removing kids,” Tolliver said. “Most will not go back to homes that are healthier or stronger. Rather, the state has done damage, pulling parents from their jobs, placing them in a panic mode and under surveillance, and not investing in families.'”

See more: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41096-stop-and-frisk-for-caregivers-how-expanded-mandated-reporting-laws-hurt-families


Good riddance George Sheldon.

Black on Both Sides is relieved to hear that the Director of DCFS in Illinois is stepping down. George Sheldon, in his brief time in Illinois, implemented a number of policies intended to massively expand the range of DCFS in Illinois, without addressing the racial disparities we see in DCFS. His leadership saw the introduction of the dangerous bill HB 3288, which remains in the Illinois Congress, and would expand mandated reporting to all citizens. In addition, several tragic incidents, including the death of children in care and on whom DCFS reports had been made, raised questions about the priorities of the agency.

We are clearly not the only people who have concerns about Sheldon’s tenure, as the article states:
“DCFS Inspector General Denise Kane said earlier this month that her office and the Office of the Illinois Executive Inspector General have opened a joint investigation into some of the agency’s actions under Sheldon.”

While he may move on to a comfy non-profit job in Florida, we in Illinois are left with his mess – and still fighting HB 3288.

Read more here: http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/with-spotlight-on-semajs-death-dcfs-director-resigns/