The foster care system is complex—and broken. Learn more and find ways to get involved here.
Articles & Reports
- How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever (The Marshall Project)
- Family Separation: It’s a Problem for U.S. Citizens, Too (The New York Times)
- Jail Will Separate 2.3 Million Mothers From Their Children This Year (Prison Policy Initiative)
- What Los Angeles Child Welfare Leader Bobby Cagle Could Learn from Mick Jagger (Youth Today)
- Inside a mom’s months-long fight to get back her children (LA Times)
- Double Punishment: After Prison, Moms Face Legal Battles to Reunite With Kids (Truth Out)
- Adoption Myths and Racial Realities in the United States (Dorothy Roberts)
- A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities (The Annie E. Casey Foundation)
- Los Angeles’s Vast Child Welfare System Has a Lot to Teach Rest of Nation (Youth Today)
- The True Cost of Incarceration on Families (Ella Baker Center for Human Rights/Forward Together/Research Action Design)
Women Organizing for Justice and Opportunity
WOJO seeks a cohort of women willing to contribute their knowledge, skills and leadership toward eliminating discrimination and improve community conditions for the formerly incarcerated and others with criminal convictions.
Behind every parent in jail or prison, there are children who are serving time in a different way. Our work is twofold: to create a community that allows our young people to use their voice, pride, and power; and to support them in creating policy change that reflects their needs.
Families and Criminal Justice
Families & Criminal Justice envisions a future in which the development of every person is fostered by healthy relationships, supportive human networks, adequate community resources, equitable social policies and just economic systems.
Tips for Dealing with DCFS
When interacting with the Department of Child and Family Services, here are some things to keep in mind:
Create a plan.
Getting DCFS involved can be avoided if there is a plan in place. If someone you know has been arrested, talk to them about their plans for their children if they are not able to come home right away.
Lend your support.
If you know someone whose child is in the DCFS system, ask if you can write a letter to the court on their behalf or consider becoming a visit monitor.
Do not call DCFS on someone unless you are absolutely certain that a child is in danger. Don’t assume a child is being abused just because he or she has a bruise.
When DCFS wants to conduct a search, confirm that they have a warrant. However, only do this, if you feel safe to do so.
Learn about the dependency court system, using the resources on this website, and consider writing to your representatives to ask them to create legislation to fix the system.
People who are going through dependency court aren’t necessarily bad parents. Children can end up in the foster care system for a variety of reasons not directly related to bad parenting.