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Commentary

Distinguishing Racism, Not Race, as a Risk Factor for Child Welfare Involvement: Reclaiming the Familial and Cultural Strengths in the Lived Experiences of Child Welfare-Affected Parents of Color

Silberman School of Social Work, City University of New York–Hunter College, New York, NY 10035, USA
Genealogy 2021, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5010011
Received: 12 October 2020 / Revised: 22 December 2020 / Accepted: 12 January 2021 / Published: 26 January 2021
Child welfare-affected parents of color (CW-PaoC) are often described using language that is deficit-focused, their families depicted as fragile and living in a near constant state of crisis and need. This commentary challenges the stereotypes created by hyper-attention to these parents’ struggles and situates them, and their families, within the broader context of the American appetite for family separation, wherein specific types of families are targeted for scrutiny, intervention and regulation. The concept of fragility within families is dissected to illustrate the ways in which racism and classism demarcate certain families for separation. Excerpts from two separate interviews conducted with Black mothers in 2014 and 2020 are used to illustrate how the appetite for family separation is currently fed. Familial and cultural strengths that counteract the prevailing deficit-focused narrative of CW-PaoC, particularly Black parents, are discussed. This commentary ends with a call for the dissolution of the CW system in its current regulatory form and the rebuilding of family-centered supports that center familial strengths. View Full-Text
Keywords: child welfare; race; racism; child welfare-affected parents of color; familial wealth and strength child welfare; race; racism; child welfare-affected parents of color; familial wealth and strength
MDPI and ACS Style

Stephens, T.N. Distinguishing Racism, Not Race, as a Risk Factor for Child Welfare Involvement: Reclaiming the Familial and Cultural Strengths in the Lived Experiences of Child Welfare-Affected Parents of Color. Genealogy 2021, 5, 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5010011

AMA Style

Stephens TN. Distinguishing Racism, Not Race, as a Risk Factor for Child Welfare Involvement: Reclaiming the Familial and Cultural Strengths in the Lived Experiences of Child Welfare-Affected Parents of Color. Genealogy. 2021; 5(1):11. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5010011

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stephens, Tricia N. 2021. "Distinguishing Racism, Not Race, as a Risk Factor for Child Welfare Involvement: Reclaiming the Familial and Cultural Strengths in the Lived Experiences of Child Welfare-Affected Parents of Color" Genealogy 5, no. 1: 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5010011

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