The racialized nature of child welfare policies and the social control of black bodies

Kathi L.H. Harp, Amanda M. Bunting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Black women are disproportionately involved in the child welfare system. This state-level intervention occurs at two levels-a higher likelihood of being (i) screened for drug use during pregnancy and (ii) reported to child welfare authorities after delivery. Consequently, they face further enmeshment in state-systems, including custody loss and lower reunification odds. Using evidence from the past forty years of research and media reports, we argue that systemic forces and policies largely contribute to racial disproportionality in the child welfare system, and assert this state intervention serves as a mechanism to control black reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-281
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Politics
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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