Category Archives: Children

New Symposium: “The Law of Parents and Parenting Symposium”

New Symposium: The Law of Parents and Parenting Symposium, 90 Fordham L. Rev. (2022). Contained Articles listed below:

Articles:

News Coverage: Cash Aid to Poor Mothers Increases Brain Activity in Babies, Study Finds

News Coverage: Jason DeParle, Cash Aid to Poor Mothers Increases Brain Activity in Babies, Study Finds, N.Y. Times, Jan. 24, 2022.

New Article: Vaccination, Disabled Children, and Parental Income

New Article: Karen Syma Czapanskiy, Vaccination, Disabled Children, and Parental Income, 24 J. Health Care L. & Pol’y 59 (2021).

New Article: Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan

New Article: Ariel Jurow Kleiman, Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan, 131 Yale L.J. Forum 535 (2021). Abstract below:

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dramatically alters the federal government’s approach to redistribution in 2021. Among its boldest reforms are its temporary expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. For the first time, ARPA authorizes meaningful cash support for nonworking families and childless workers, two groups that have been historically disadvantaged by social safety-net programs. This Essay considers ARPA’s effects on low-income American taxpayers, spotlighting in particular how the reforms will protect millions of households from being pushed into poverty or further into poverty as a result of paying taxes—a phenomenon called “fiscal impoverishment.” Policy makers must make ARPA’s reforms permanent in order to ensure that low-income taxpayers remain protected past 2021. As they work to do so, policy makers should be mindful of gaps in the tax credits that will undermine the reforms’ positive effects. This Essay identifies several such gaps and argues that Congress should legislate more dramatic inclusion for households with and without children.

New Article: America’s Hidden Foster Care System

New Article: Josh Gupta-Kagan, America’s Hidden Foster Care System, 72 Stanford Law Review 841 (2020). Abstract below:

In most states, child protection agencies induce parents to transfer physical custody of their children to kinship caregivers by threatening to place the children in foster care and bring them to family court. Both the frequency of these actions – this Article establishes that they occur tens and likely hundreds of thousands of times annually – and their impact – they separate parents and children, sometimes permanently – resemble the formal foster care system. But they are hidden from courts because agencies file no petition alleging abuse or neglect and from policymakers because agencies do not generally report these cases.

While informal custody changes can sometimes serve children’s and families’ interests by preventing state legal custody, this hidden foster care system raises multiple concerns, presciently raised in Supreme Court dicta in 1979. State agencies infringe on parents’ and children’s fundamental right to family integrity with few meaningful due process checks. Agencies avoid legal requirements to make reasonable efforts to reunify parents and children, licensing requirements intended to ensure that kinship placements are safe, and requirements to pay foster care maintenance payments to kinship caregivers.

This Article explains how the present child protection funding system and recent federal financing reforms further incentivize hidden foster care without regulating it. Moreover, relatively recent state statutes and policies codify the practice without providing much of any regulation. In contrast to this trend, this Article argues for regulation – the opportunity for a parent to challenge the need for the custody change in court, limits on the length of time such custody changes can remain in effect without more formal action, the provision of counsel to parents (using money from a separate recent change in federal child protection funding), and requiring states to report cases in which its actions lead to parent-child separations.

New Jotwell Review: Court Personalities and Impoverished Parents

New Jotwell Review: Ezra Rosser, Court Personalities and Impoverished Parents, Jotwell, Nov. 19, 2021 (reviewing Tonya L. Brito, Producing Justice in Poor People’s Courts: Four Models of State Legal Actors, 24 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 145 (2020))

I hope this review convinces people (a) that Brito’s article is great, and (b) it is worth reading!

New Issue: Wealth Inequality and Child Development: Implications for Policy and Practice

New Issue: Wealth Inequality and Child Development: Implications for Policy and Practice, 7 RSF J. Soc. Sci. (2021). List of Articles Within Below:

New Article: The Consumption, Income, and Well-Being of Single Mother Headed Families 25 Years After Welfare Reform

New Article: Jeehoon Han et al., The Consumption, Income, and Well-Being of Single Mother Headed Families 25 Years After Welfare Reform, Nat’l Bureau Econ. Rsch. (2021). Abstract and Description Below:

We investigate how material well-being has changed over time for single mother headed families—the primary group affected by welfare reform and other policy changes of the 1990s. We focus on consumption as well as other indicators including components of consumption, measures of housing quality, and health insurance coverage. The results provide strong evidence that the material circumstances of single mothers improved in the decades following welfare reform. The consumption of the most disadvantaged single mother headed families—those with low consumption or low education—rose noticeably over time and at a faster rate than for those in comparison groups.

New Article: “Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan”

New Article: Ariel Jurow Kleiman, Revolutionizing Redistribution: Tax Credits and the American Rescue Plan, forthcoming Yale L.J. Forum. Abstract below:

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dramatically alters the federal government’s approach to redistribution in 2021. Among its boldest reforms are its temporary expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. For the first time, ARPA authorizes meaningful cash support for nonworking families and childless workers, two groups that have been historically disadvantaged by social safety net programs. This Essay considers ARPA’s effects on low-income American taxpayers, spotlighting in particular how the reforms will protect millions of households from being pushed into poverty or further into poverty as a result of paying taxes—a phenomenon called “fiscal impoverishment.” Policy makers must make ARPA’s reforms permanent in order to ensure that low-income taxpayers remain protected past 2021. As they work to do so, policy makers should be mindful of gaps in the tax credits that will undermine the reforms’ positive effects. The Essay identifies several such gaps and argues that Congress should legislate more dramatic inclusion for households with and without children.

New Article: Brains Without Money: Poverty as Disabling

New Article: Emily R. Murphy, Brains Without Money: Poverty as Disabling, forthcoming Conn. L. Rev. Abstract below:

The United States has long treated poverty and disability as separate legal categories, a division grounded in widespread assumptions about the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor. In the case of disability, individuals are generally not thought to be morally responsible for their disadvantage, whereas in the case of poverty, disadvantage is assumed to be the fault of the individual, who is therefore less deserving of aid. This Article argues, however, that recent advances in brain and behavioral science undermine the factual basis for those assumptions. Poverty inhibits brain development during childhood and, later in life, adversely affects cognitive capacities that are key to decision-making and long-term planning. The science of scarcity is complex and ongoing, but its most basic finding is quickly approaching consensus: poverty’s effects in the brain can be disabling.

This Article argues that understanding poverty as disabling has potentially significant implications for policy and doctrine. Viewing poverty as disabling would provide support for poverty programs with less sludge and more money: proposals such as universal basic income, negative income tax, child grants, and greatly simplified benefits determinations. It also reanimates insertion of social welfare concerns into the dominant civil rights framework for disability policy, and could resolve longstanding tensions between disjointed federal disability laws. In addition, brain and behavioral science may support litigation strategies to compel accessibility to existing systems and potentially help promote a new public understanding of the causes of poverty.

The Article concludes by considering the potential (and significant) downsides of using the lens of science in service of policy: backlash, misunderstanding, and the fragility of relying on nascent science to support fundamentally normative policy goals. One necessary mitigation strategy involves the careful translation of science, including its limitations and residual uncertainties, into legal scholarship, an approach this Article attempts to both model and articulate.