New Article: Lauren E. Bartlett, Promoting Permanency and Human Rights, 23 UC Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol’y 123 (2019).
An increasing number of children are being exclusively cared for by grandparents or extended family. The majority of these caregivers are raising children outside of the foster care system without a formal legal status. In fact, kinship diversion, placing children whose parents cannot or will not care for them with family or friends outside of the foster care system, is encouraged by state and federal law. Informal kinship caregivers face many obstacles to providing care for children, and they are more likely to be unemployed, receive government benefits, and be less educated, as compared with parents raising their own children. In addition, the majority of these caregivers live in poverty and few receive adequate subsidies or other support for the children in their care. When an informal kinship caregiver living in poverty wishes to move for permanency, through adoption or permanent guardianship proceedings, the out-of-pocket expenses present an obstacle—the costs of a private adoption or permanent guardianship proceeding add up to more than $3,000, not including attorney’s fees. While adoptions and permanent guardianships are at least partially subsidized when the children are in foster care, subsidies for legal proceedings for informal kinship caregivers living in poverty are unavailable or inadequate in many states. In those states, informal kinship caregivers living in poverty who wish to move for permanency for the children in their care are barred from doing so for lack of funds. Using a human rights lens to analyze the applicable law, regulations, and practices of all fifty states and the federal government, this Article argues for the subsidization of private adoptions and permanent guardianships for kinship caregivers living in poverty.
“Human Rights,” published by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice published an issue dedicated to Economic Justice, available here. The issue includes articles, by an impressive list of authors, on: “Taxing Poor Kids,” “Criminal Justice Debt Problems,” “ABA Bail Policy: Taking Steps to Achieve Reform,” “Roadmap to Economic Justice: Enhancing Protections for Auto Consumers,” “Your Money’s No Good Here: Combatting Source of
Income Discrimination in Housing,” “Fair Housing Under the Trump Administration,” “Solve Hunger with Anti-Poverty Policies, Not Anti-Hunger Policies,” “Economic Rights: Are They Justiciable, and Should They Be?,” and “Human Rights Heroes: Maria Foscarinis, Eric Tars, and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.” It can also be viewed as a PDF here.
-Thanks to Steve Wermiel for the heads up!
New Article: Alix Bruce, Broken Bones and Pepper Spray: The State-Sanctioned Abuse of Immigrant Juveniles in Custody, 27 Am. U. J. Gender, Soc. Pol’y & L. 431 (2019).
News Feature: Jason Zengerle, How America Got to ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Immigration: The Inside Story, The New York Times Magazine, July 16, 2019. This (long) feature explores the battles that have raged within the Trump administration over family separations, ICE raids and the president’s obsession with a wall. Together, they have remade homeland security.
Posted in Children, Economic Mobility, Economics, Employment, Family, Human Rights, Inequality, Jobs, Measuring Poverty, Minimum Wage, News Coverage of Poverty, Socio-Economic Rights
News Coverage of Poverty: Kelsey Piper, India’s poor don’t want money — they want health care, Vox.com, Apr. 12, 2019.
New Book: Thomas J. Ward, Out in the Rural: A Mississippi Health Center and Its War on Poverty (2016). Overview below:
Ward (Black Physicians in the Jim Crow South), chair of the history department at Spring Hill College (Ala.), celebrates the nation’s first rural community health center and its groundbreaking mission to provide medical care and be “an instrument of social change” in the impoverished Mississippi Delta region. In this densely packed chronicle, Ward covers the growth of the Tufts-Delta Health Center from a small health clinic in 1967—opening amid skepticism from both black and white communities—to its unique role as a medical center and organizer of programs addressing rampant malnutrition, poor maternal and child healthcare, unsafe drinking water and sewage disposal, and hunger. Woven throughout are vivid portraits of the clinic’s founders, including H. Jack Geiger, the “father of community health”; community organizer John Hatch; environmental services director Andrew James; and farm expert L.C. Dorsey. Ward argues that the center’s true measure of success is its enduring legacy as one of the first of “more than 1,200 community health centers in the U.S.” Ward shows that “in both practical and symbolic terms, the Tufts-Delta Health Center was a radical assault on both the medical and social status quo”—and that story is as urgent today as it was a half century ago.