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Showing posts from December, 2019

Instilling Hope, Any Way We Can

Own the Removal Decision

The Washington Post recently profiled the remarkable work of Judge Ernestine Gray to essentially eliminate New Orleans’ foster care system. Between 2011 and 2017, the number of kids in foster care in New Orleans fell by 89 percent. Of the kids who did enter foster care, seven in ten left it within a month.

She’s achieved these results without any evidence that she’s putting more children at risk. In fact, the article notes the city’s rate of children being revictimized is lower than the statewide average.

The article suggests that Judge Gray achieved these outcomes by simply applying the law and forcing child welfare agencies to meet their legal burden, not being swayed by general concerns about a family. It reads:

“If protective services can’t make an ironclad case as to why children should be removed, Gray returns them to their families — even if DCFS investigators have described the setting as an ‘unhealthy environment.’” 

The most striking aspect of the “reforms” instituted by Ju…