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CANNABIS CULTURE – MOVEMENT FOR FAMILY POWER, WITH DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE AND NYU FAMILY DEFENSE CLINIC, RELEASE A NEW REPORT ON HOW THE DRUG WAR AND FOSTER SYSTEM INTERSECT TO HARM BLACK, BROWN, AND LOW-INCOME FAMILIES.

Webinar on the Report to Be Held Tuesday, June 23 at 3:00 PM ET

American society is in a critical moment – one of progress and revolution full of promise for the liberation of Black and Brown people that we have been working towards. Dialogue about racism (both interpersonal and institutional), anti-Blackness, policing, and the need to divest from harmful systems and invest in communities is at an all-time high. It is within this context that Movement for Family Power, alongside co-publishers the Drug Policy Alliance and NYU Family Defense Clinic, are releasing our new report on the child welfare and foster system and the drug war, “Whatever they do, I’m her comfort, I’m her protector: How the foster system has become ground zero for the US drug war.

It is our intention that this report will contribute to the evidence base for the growing cries for divestment from policing agencies, such as Child Protective Services (CPS), and provide clear recommendations for a new way forward.

CPS has encroached upon the lives of many American families – over one-third of American children and over half of Black children have been subjected to child abuse/neglect investigations. The foster system surveils millions of parents, controls their interactions or ability to be with their loved ones, and separates parents from children via temporary and permanent loss of custody. And amid the coronavirus pandemic, the foster system’s response has placed families’ ability to visit and reunify in jeopardy, restricted their access to the courts, and exacerbated the disproportionate impact of this pandemic on Black and Brown communities.

This new report:

  • Examines the impact of the foster system on Black and Brown families and communities;
  • Debunks assumptions about the utility of the foster system and shares data on its harms to families;
  • Illustrates how the drug war and the foster system interact to the detriment of children, parents, and families;
  • Shares data and case studies demonstrating how drug use has been wrongly conflated with abuse and neglect and needlessly torn families apart; and
  • Makes recommendations for policy and program changes to resist surveillance and family separation and promote family and community safety and wellbeing.

“I hope this report contributes to the growing body of work that humanizes parents and mamas who use drugs, and dignifies the love they have for their children and the sanctity of those bonds.” – Lisa Sangoi, co-founder and co-director of Movement for Family Power

“It is time to reassess our child welfare system. It is time to listen to the families it is hurting. This report is an important step in a long overdue conversation.” – Chris Gottleib, co-director of NYU Family Defense Clinic

“This critical report shines a bright light on the confluence of the racist drug war and structural inequities in the foster system and points to policy alternatives that would instead truly center children and families’ wellbeing.” – Kassandra Frederique, managing director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Drug Policy Alliance

We are hopeful that the report will help awaken various actors to the harm they cause by unjustly separating parents and children and give them specific guidance on how to change their behaviors, practices, and institutions so that more families can stay together.

The report and related content are available at: bit.ly/GROUNDZEROREPORT

You can learn more about the report and hear from the co-authoring organizations and other thought leaders at our webinar on Tuesday, June 23rd at 3:00 PM ET.

Register here: bit.ly/MFPJUNE23

https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2020/06/23/how-the-drug-war-foster-system-intersect-to-harm-black-brown-low-income-families/

Associated Press

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