How the Child Welfare System Criminalizes Black and Brown Motherhood

“Once they see that you’ve done anything, you’re just automatically bad,” said Jeanette Vega, training director and parent advocate at Rise, a publication dedicated to helping parents share stories of their time in the child welfare system. “Children want to go home, children love their parents, parents love their…

'When My Son Was Taken, I Felt Like a Failure': Stories From Inside the Child Welfare System

In collaboration with Rise magazine, Jezebel is publishing a series of articles written by parents affected by the child welfare system. This post, the last in the series, is written by Piazadora Footman, who lost her son for three years after she was arrested for buying drugs. In New York City, an estimated 25 to 40…

'They Told Me They Knew What Was Best for Him': Stories From Inside the Child Welfare System

In collaboration with Rise magazine, Jezebel is publishing a series of articles written by parents affected by the child welfare system. This post, the fourth in the series, features narratives by Deborah McCabe and Adisha Garner, two parents who were unable to reunite with their children. In New York City, an…

'I've Always Been a Lioness When It Comes to My Children': Stories From Inside the Child Welfare System

In collaboration with Rise magazine, Jezebel is publishing a series of articles written by parents affected by the child welfare system. This post, the third in the series, features narratives by LaQuana Chapelle and Lashonda Murray, two mothers who themselves grew up in foster care. In New York City, an estimated 25…

'In One Day I Had Lost Everything That Mattered to Me': Stories From Inside the Child Welfare System

The tragic death of Zymere Perkins, a child who died at the hands of abusive parents even though the city’s child welfare agency had repeatedly investigated his family, made headlines in New York City publications for months this past fall. In their coverage, many outlets focused on a familiar narrative of monstrous…

Would Child Welfare Programs Still Be Failing If They Were Anti-Poverty Instead of Anti-Abuse? 

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families plunged into its current wave of trouble in December 2013, when a five-year-old named Jeremiah Oliver disappeared, and his disappearance went unreported for months, despite his family being under investigation from child services. In the spring of 2014, his body…

Pregnant Women Undergoing Methadone Treatment Caught in a Lose-Lose Struggle to Shake Addiction and Keep Their Kids

Methadone maintenance is the treatment of choice for addicts trying to wean themselves off opiates, but, for pregnant women, methadone can provide judges and caseworkers with the evidence needed to arbitrarily separate recovering addicts from their children. The Daily Beast's Rachel Blustain chronicles the struggle…