Why ‘Bad’ Moms Still Should Parent Their Kids

Post of the week comes from Standing with the Kids. I’ve been reading Julia’s blog regularly since I discovered it back in July and she is the kind of voice that folks who make decisions about youth and families, on a policy and practice level, need to hear. I don’t always agree with her positions, but her arguments are thoughtful and well written. This post resonated with me because it speaks to the experiences I’ve had over the years in working with youth and families who have been involved with the “system”. In NJ we are getting better at keeping kids in the home by helping families improve capacity. There was a time when residential facilities were being used as a holding ground for kids who were removed from the home because of safety concerns within the family. Residential facilities are designed to treat kids with severe emotional and behavioral problems, and many of these kids simply did not meet this level of need – in the end these placements ended up hurting more than they helped. Although improvements have been made there is still a good deal of work that needs to be done in ensuring that youth are not further harmed by the systems created to protect them.

Posts for this feature are selected each week and posted on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Posts selected are not necessarily featured the week they were originally posted.

Standing With the Kids

Published by EducationNews.org — Teach incompetent parents responsive, responsible parenting to avoid taking babies away from the people they love.

In her own opinion, Dr. Brenda Harden has made serious mistakes with other people’s lives.

Thirty years ago Harden was a front-line social worker for Child Protective Services in New York City, frequently removing children from troubled, violent or drug-addled homes.  But now, as an Associate Professor at University of Maryland College Park, she develops remedies for what she now considers to be flat-out damage inflicted on vulnerable children.

Speaking at a recent conference, she says, “I’ve done a lot of bad service in my life.  I have moved children with clothes in black trash bags, and with all the metaphor that goes along with it, about being throw-aways.  I can’t tell you how many attached family relationships I’ve interrupted.  Sometimes there were good reasons.  But mostly we (social services) are…

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