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November 11, 2023

Why is NYC Telling Teachers to Not Keep Kids Safe?

When you see something, should you say something? According to the Office of Children and Family Services, it depends on the race of the victim.  New guidance released last month for New York City teachers offers some unusual bits of advice. Rather than reporting suspected cases of abuse to the Administration for Children’s Services, teachers should actually…

October 10, 2023

Judge Erik Pitchal’s Warped Mindset Led to Baby Ella Vitalis’ Death

Ella Vitalis was only three weeks old when her parents brought her to the hospital with two broken ankles, a fractured skull and a brain hemorrhage. The couple, who had been visited by police after a domestic-violence incident, offered no explanation for their daughter’s injuries. After an investigation, the Administration for Children’s Services took Ella and her brother,…

October 5, 2023

DCS Has Failed Children It Was Supposed to Protect, This Lawsuit Shows Why

What should anger us most about the life of Kimberly F., a 15-year-old Indiana girl in the custody of the state’s Department of Child Services? That she was repeatedly sexually abused by at least three men? That those responsible for her allowed the abuse to continue? That the state repeatedly kept her in the care…

August 14, 2023

What ‘Earth Mama’ Doesn’t Tell Us About Foster Care

There are plenty of movies that start in the middle of the story. But typically the director will eventually go back and tell you what happened at the beginning. This is not true of “Earth Mama,” a recently released film by first-time director Savanah Leaf. The story is about a pregnant woman, Gia, whose two…

August 12, 2023

Why Ending Child Services Is the New Defund the Police

Can you imagine if the New York Police Department invited Defund the Police activists to train their officers? That’s what the New York State Family Court and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) are doing. In a June webinar for almost 400 ACS workers, parents, child attorneys and family court judges, advocates who want to…

June 2, 2023

America’s Failing Child-Protection System

In her recent Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, Demon Copperhead, Barbara Kingsolver describes the situation of a young boy whose father dies before he is born. His mother struggles with addiction, but Demon manages to get by somehow—mostly with the help of his next-door neighbors. His situation goes south quickly, though, around the age of 10, when his…

May 31, 2023

Children Are Dead Because Activists Say It’s Racist for ACS to Act

When a child is found dead with bruises on her wrists and torso, the first question is always: Were there warning signs? In the case of 6-year-old Jalayah Eason, the answer is undoubtedly yes. It wasn’t just the upstairs neighbor who heard the child “screaming for her dear life” and yelling, “Stop, stop, stop!” Who told…

May 30, 2023

Parenting While High

Last month, Albuquerque police launched an investigation into how they handled the case of a seven-month-old baby who died in 2022 of asphyxiation. The death was ruled accidental—the child fell between a couch and a windowsill—even though he also had methamphetamines in his system. Three other children in the home also tested positive within a few days,…

May 27, 2023

How Newborns Are Becoming Victims of Legalized Marijuana Use

The Administration for Children’s Services has engaged in “pervasive discriminatory practices,” according to a lawsuit filed by Chanetto Rivers in federal court last week. Rivers, who is black, claims that the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) removed her newborn baby from her custody as part of the agency’s “disparate treatment of Black families” which “cause[s]…