HRW: US child welfare system harms families

Child welfare systems in the United States too often treat poverty as the basis for charges of neglect and decisions to remove children from their parents, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a report released on Thursday.

The system’s disproportionate impact on Black and Indigenous families and people living in poverty, and the sheer number of children removed unjustly, make this a national crisis warranting immediate attention and action.

“The child welfare system punishes parents for poverty by taking their children away,” said Hina Naveed, Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the ACLU and the author of the report.

“Parents need resources to help provide for their families, but what they are getting is surveillance, regulation, and punishment”, they continued.

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