Our EQ this week: How does being an interchangeable white lady impact your work in foster care?
Special Guests: Skylar Cole from Treehouse & Brianna Richardson a foster-to-adopt parent
Our guests help us understand many of the dynamics of the foster care system, including the fact that it is inherently reactive. We discuss how people of color have contact with CPS, DSHS, and foster care more often than white people. This disproportionality affects the youth we teach in a big way.
The assumptions made by those in the system are normed to white middle class values (middle class families are also much less likely to be investigated by CPS). Black families are two times and Native American families are three times as likely to be investigated as white families. Children of color are also less likely to be reunited with their families. We discuss a variety of related topics like dependency hearings, restrictions on foster parents, compensation and conditions for foster families, the serious lack of foster homes, and the subjectivity unintentionally built in to what is meant to be an objective system (which also mirrors systemic racism).
Do Your Fudging Homework:
- Skylar: Everyone needs to watch this video "What Mandated Reporters Need to Know about Racial Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System"
- Brianna: Read "Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Parents Knew" and check out the website Fostering Together for resources.
Annie/Hope: Go read up on Washington’s recent consolidation of Child Protective Services into the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Reflect on the fact that this department now also houses the juvenile justice system and what that means for youth. Go to the community liaison or Treehouse representative at your neighborhood school and see what kind of support foster youth need right now. Take action to help those kids! If you have the capacity, consider how you might contribute mentorship or a safe, loving home for foster youth.
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