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Shattered Bonds: The Color Of Child Welfare Paperback – January 7, 2003

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Shattered Bonds: The Color Of Child Welfare + The Book Of David: How Preserving Families Can Cost Children's Lives + Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk A Caseworker's Story
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Civitas Books; Reprint edition (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465070590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465070596
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"It costs the federal government eleven times as much to provide foster care as to provide public aid to families," writes Northwestern law professor Roberts (Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty). Even worse, she charges that child removal policies are biased, targeting blacks over other racial groups. Roberts has reached these conclusions through the careful research and scrutiny of court documents, foster-care records, and police reports. She also looks at social factors poverty, crime, and welfare provision among them and determines that lack of income, rather than parental inadequacy, is the major cause of child abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, instead of alleviating problems associated with substandard housing, poor nutrition, or lack of supervision, child welfare agencies take children and plop them into middle-class, but not necessarily stable, households. While Roberts decries the destruction of low-income black families that this represents, her arguments about systemic racism are undermined by the fact that many foster care agencies are staffed by African Americans. A deeper look at how "racial profiling" is internalized by all sectors of society would make this a more credible text. Still, this work is recommended for all public and academic libraries as an enlightening study of a major social issue. Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Roberts, a law professor, offers a sharp, probing look at the alarming public policy that separates children from troubled low-income black families while making efforts to keep similarly troubled white families together. On the basis of 25 years of research on federal, state, and local welfare programs nationwide, Roberts reveals a system that fails to protect the interests of black children. The statistics are startling: black children make up half the foster-care population despite the fact that they constitute less than one-fifth of the nation's children. Roberts' case studies and interviews offer testimony to the human cost of racist assumptions by the middle-class social workers and judges in assessing what is best for children separated from their families. She recalls black parents whose every action is seen through the prism of race: assertion of rights is viewed as aggressiveness and lack of cooperation, whereas bureaucratic rules are strictly enforced, frustrating efforts to regain custody. Readers concerned with social policy will find this a troubling but informative review of America's child-welfare system. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By K. Kimbrough on March 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read Ms. Roberts book and believe that she is on target to the destruction of the Black family. The number of African American children in foster care is not a new theory. In fact, Black children have been in the foster care system since slavery. Slavery in itself was a form of foster care. The continued systematic destruction of the black family is caused by poverty, poor education and MISeducation, as well as, a host of factors created by the racism and classification of "minority" for black people. It is very easy to place fault on poor parents but the system pays more money to pull families apart than to help form the bonds of the bloodline.
In the state of Missouri, for example, black children make up only 14% of the total population of children in the state. Nonetheless, 44% of all children in the foster care system are black. A highly disproportionate number. One state, but multiply that by all states and the math speaks for itself.
I highly recommend this book.
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By Curtly Ambrose on April 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read for Social Workers who work in the urban settings with children. A well written, true depiction of the Child Welfare System.
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14 of 44 people found the following review helpful By MS on January 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
While this book purports to be an unbiased account of the foster care system and its impact on African-American children, it fails miserably. The author is biased against the system from the very beginning, and presents only stories that back her view of the system. There are definitely issues with the foster care system including: overworked case managers, lack of funds, inability to assist children in an appropriate fashion 100% of the time. Certainly there is a racial issue since the majority of children in foster care and up for adoption are minorities, but is this because of the foster care system itself or are we missing a major piece in the puzzle? It is this missing piece that is missing from Ms. Roberts' book.
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