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The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act mandates reporting, investigation,and prosecution of allegedly abusive and neglectful parents. Commonly known as child protective services (CPS), this family policing system uses the government’s police power to disrupt, surveil, control, and destroy hundreds of thousands of Black families based on conditions of poverty framed as neglect.
Centering a Black mother’s five-year long ordeal with New York City’s family policing system, we examine the carceral roots of CPS and its destructive impacts on Black families. We call for abolishing the CPS family policing system; diversion of the billions invested in the foster industry to investment in quality-of-life resources de-linked from so-called “child protection”; and monetary reparations for generations of CPS violence against Black families.
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