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Title: Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Number of Pages: 341 pages
Book Number/Goal: 4/50 for 2010
My Rating: 5/5

This is an excellent analysis of the US child welfare system and how ridiculously broken it is. While the general view of foster care is that children are only taken from their families when they are abused or grossly neglected, the truth is that many children (especially black children) are taken from their families for no reason other than that they are poor.

And because regardless of how true it is for individual cases, as a whole, biological parents are coded as black and foster parents are coded as white, so the government is willing to spend tons of money on foster parents (for example, in California, not only foster parents, but also parents who adopt through the state get paid monthly for each child until they turn eighteen, plus the children can go to any UC or Cal State school for free), but is unwilling to instead spend that money on helping poor families so that their kids aren't taken from them in the first place simply because they had too small an apartment or couldn't afford a babysitter or had no food in the house or were homeless.

The book lays out how the current system ends up harming not just children by taking them away (often unnecessarily) from their families but the black community in general, and the unconsious racism that drives the decisions to favor placing children in foster care and terminating parental rights rather than working to keep families together.

Mooch from BookMooch.


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