Black mothers living in poor neighborhoods are finding themselves at the mercy of Children’s Services because of the criminalization of their parenting choices.
An investigation by WNYC found that Black children are more than four times as likely as white children to enter foster care in New Jersey.
No parent is perfect, and mistakes happen while raising kids. But Black moms, especially those who are low-income, are held to impossible standards while being told they are bad parents.
Many times when mothers are accused of “endangering” their children, it’s due to conditions of poverty. And what's even more messed up is that landlords capitalize on this.
One woman’s landlord called Children’s Services on her after he learned she’d called “311” to complain about the terrible living conditions he provided. Even though the children were “clean and healthy,” the agency worker noted unsafe conditions and removed the children.
Being separated from their parents is extremely traumatic for children. Feelings of fear, stress, and instability can lead to behavioral problems, which we know results in children being punished in school.
So, understanding that the actions of Children’s Services reflect this country's racist history of breaking up and punishing Black families is important to know as we fight for parents to get the help they truly need.