The Chronicle of Social Change: More Services Or Better Legal Support For Accused Parents? New York Officials and Advocates Divided on What’s Best

“Some advocates who spoke to lawmakers last week rejected the notion that prevention programs were a panacea, and argued that lawmakers should focus instead on improving legal representation for parents.

“We have to stop talking about preventive services,” testified Emma Ketteringham, a managing attorney for the legal aid group Bronx Defenders. “I’m not saying that’s not a good idea. But when you’re hungry, and you don’t know where you are going to sleep, and your children were taken in the middle of the night — therapy’s not going to fix the situation … We have to back up and really explore how we respond to families that struggle … because of poverty and because of structural racism.”

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