Week 5

tearing families apart

Key Questions

  • What is the family policing system? How has its development been entrenched in anti-Blackness and settler colonialism?

  • How can caseworkers be considered cops? What does this reveal about the connection between the carceral system and supposedly benevolent, welfare-oriented institutions?

  • What are the various myths that allow for the perpetuation of the family policing system? How are many of these myths reliant on anti-Black and anti-poor tropes?

Required Materials

Supplementary Materials


Use the tools below to view data on family policing in your state. How many children are investigated and separated by the family policing system? How much money is invested in prevention and permanency services compared to investments in separating children from their families? What percentage of children are separated from their families as a result of abuse? Consider what this data shows about the purpose of the family policing system, along with its connection to racial capitalism.