NYCLU report: Racism a heavy factor in family regulation cases
A new report from the New York Civil Liberties Union says racism is baked into every stage of a family regulation case.
The report acknowledged that less than one quarter of the city's population is Black, but more than 40% of family regulation cases are brought against black parents. More than half of the children removed from their homes without a court order are Black. Impacted families and advocates have fought for bills to be passed that ensure parents are informed of their rights at the first point of contact with Administration for Children’s Services.
"They will insist that they will have to be granted entry into the parent's home so that they can look through cabinets and inspect all parts of the home, they will ask the parent all kinds of deeply invasive questions,” said NYCLU spokesperson Jenna Lauter. “They may even ask to strip search the child in many cases. And many times a parent doesn't actually know that they don't have to immediately cooperate with these demands."
ACS acknowledges that more work needs to be done but says they have provided additional training to their employees and as a result, the disparities have been declining.
The NYCLU says if people are being investigated by ACS, they should get a lawyer.