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Fundamentally, the so-called “child welfare system”—more appropriately named, the family regulation system—is a policing system rooted in white supremacist ideologies and techniques. From its earliest iteration, the family regulation system has functioned to pathologize, control, and punish the families entrapped in its web, most especially Black families. Nevertheless, among many, the myth persists that the family regulation system is one of child protection and family support. This is especially true when discussing the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018, which—for the first time since the establishment of the modern family regulation system—opens up federal funding streams previously reserved for the removal of children to the foster system to provide prevention services for families in which children have not yet been removed to the foster system. While the Act is a course change in federal family regulation policy, this Article traces how it leaves undisturbed the pathology, control, and punishment central to the policies that preceded it.
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