Episode 59: What Did Child Welfare Learn from 2020 - upEnding Systemic Racism

Date: January 2020

Length: 44:05

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Transcript:   cwig_podcast_transcript_episode_59.pdf   [PDF, 172 KB]

“The child welfare system is organized to have these very harsh punishment-oriented interventions with children and families, with racist beliefs about Black and Native and Latino families, and so we see that they don’t fare well when the system is involved.”

—Maya Pendleton, policy analyst, Center for the Study of Social Policy

During 2020, the racial disparities and inequities rampant across the Unites States were magnified. The year also amplified the call to review many of the nation's social systems, including those involved with health care, criminal justice, economics, and education. The child welfare system as it stands is also in need of serious introspection. "What Did Child Welfare Learn From 2020 – upENDing Systemic Racism" continues the conversation around the roots of systemic racism within child welfare, how agencies can objectively review their policies and approaches, and the rise of a movement to abolish the current system in favor of one that provides greater support to families.

This episode is part of a series that examines what the child welfare field learned during 2020. It features members of the Center for the Study of Social Policy who are working with the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work to lead the upEND movement. upEND seeks to end the practice of State-sanctioned separation of children from their families as a response to social problems like food insecurity, poverty, lack of affordable and safe housing, and lack of meaningful prevention services. upEND also seeks to reimagine how we support and serve families and eliminate the root causes that create conditions for harm to occur.

The following individuals are featured in this episode:

  • Maya Pendleton, policy analyst, Center for the Study of Social Policy
  • Shadi Houshyar, senior associate, Center for the Study of Social Policy

Topics discussed include the following:

  • How data enable agencies to effectively and objectively review the racial inequities within their policies, procedures, and tools
  • The meaning and purpose of the upEND movement
  • How individual child welfare professionals can begin to shift toward a more just and equitable system
  • What societal changes need to occur to enable a re-envisioned child welfare system to exist

From the Center for the Study of Social Policy