Hidden Foster Care: Compelled Shadow Family Separations
Letter to Children's Bureau Commissioner
By Aubrey Edwards-Luce, The Imprint, July 7, 2022
By Lizzie Presser, New York Times Magazine/Pro Publica, December 1, 2021
By Morgan Baskin, The Imprint, October 4, 2021
By Sara Tiano, The Imprint, August 4, 2021
The Imprint Podcast, July 18, 2021
Panel Presentation, ABA National Parent Attorney Conference, May 20, 2021
By Kate Martin, Carolina Public Press,
A jury issued a combined monetary award of $4.6 million — $1.5 million for a father and another $3.1 million for his daughter, who were separated by Cherokee County DSS. The father signed a Custody and Visitation Agreement (CVA), thinking that if he did not, the state would take his daughter away and he would never see her again. Social workers testified they used CVAs on “stuck cases,” including instances when social workers could not convince a judge to issue an order to separate children from parents in circumstances where the social workers thought the child was unsafe.
By Jackie Valley, The Imprint, April 26, 2021
"Recent data suggests that use of hidden foster care is prevalent in Nevada. Numbers obtained from the state indicate that such arrangements comprise roughly 20% of children separated from their parents.
Some child welfare advocates are concerned that while plenty of kin prefer an arrangement with fewer social workers in their lives, the opaque nature of hidden foster care obscures what we know about how many children have been removed from their parents and the justification for those removals, and the conditions of where those children are now living."
By Josh Gupta-Kagan, The Imprint, December 21, 2020
The Biden administration can address hidden foster care in three ways: (1) by using the flexibility provided by the Family First Act to prevent parent-child separations, not only prevent foster care; (2) by working with states to ensure parents are appointed lawyers whenever agencies ask a parent to change a child’s physical custody; and (3) by requiring states to collect and report data regarding their use of hidden foster care
Roxanna Asgarian, The Appeal, December 21, 2020
By Angie Schwartz and Cathy Krebs, American Bar Association Children's Rights Litigation, March 31, 2020