Additional Reading



Where no link is available, the story usually is available from NCCPR.


  • A truly-extraordinary report, that reveals the ugliness of a state child welfare agency was issued by the Center for the Study of Social Policy in 2009.  The long, academic title notwithstanding the report, about racial bias, and much more, in child welfare in Michigan reads more like good investigative reporting than just another study. The Michigan report was one of a series of similar studies across the country. In 2022, two of the researchers wrote about findings common to all of them.
  • Similar to the Michigan report, a report by the Citizens Review Board for child protective services in Washington DC combines data with compelling case examples to document findings that  hundreds of children have been wrongfully taken from their families. But it no longer appears to be available online.
  • Two issues of the Columbia Journal of Race and Law (Vol. 11 No. 4 and Vol. 12, No. 1) are, in effect, an encyclopedia of family policing and how it hurts children. They collect papers from the Journal’s Strengthened Bonds symposium, tied to the release of Prof. Dorothy Roberts’ book, Torn Apart, noted in the Books section above.
  • Much earlier, the Fall, 2009 issue of the Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal created an outstanding resource for anyone interested in how child welfare really works.  The issue focuses on the urgent need for high-quality legal representation for families caught up in child welfare systems.  See especially the article by one such parent, Nancy Colon, and the article by Tracy Green, Managing Attorney for the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy.
  • The National CASA Association commissioned a study that was supposed to tell the world how wonderful the Court-Appointed Special Advocates program is.  But it didn’t work out that way.  National CASA appears to have removed the report from its website.  We’re pleased to make it available here. Since then, other studies have confirmed the dismal findings. Links to those studies and further discussion are available here.
  • At the suggestion of NCCPR, the New Jersey Office of Child  Advocate examined Families Under Supervision of the New Jersey family policing agency, and found families who could have safely remained together had the agency provided the right kinds of help.
  • Office of the New York City Public Advocate, Justice Denied: The Crisis in Legal Representation of Birth Parents in Child Welfare Proceedings. May 12, 2000.
  • Martin Guggenheim, “The Effects of Recent Trends to Accelerate the Termination of Parental Rights of Children in Foster Care — An Empirical Analysis in Two States,” Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring 1995.
  • The 1991-92 San Diego County Grand Jury spent a year investigating that county’s child protective system with extraordinary thoroughness. The portrait painted by their reports is frightening. Though they focused on only one county, the system in San Diego is typical of the operations of child protective services throughout the United States. Reports include: Report No.2, Families in Crisis, Feb. 6, 1992; Report No.6, The Case of Alicia W., June 23, 1992 ; Report No.7, The Crisis in Foster Care, June 29, 1992; Report No.8, Child Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Molest Issues, June 29, 1992; and Families in Crisis — Supplement, June 29, 1992. This last report documents what the Grand Jury viewed as a remarkable willingness by authorities in San Diego to respond to the Grand Jury’s findings and try to change the system.
  • Karen Benker and James Rempel, Inexcusable Harm: The Effect of Institutionalization on Young Foster Children in New York City (May, 1989). Public Interest Health Consortium for New York City. This report is out of print, but available through the coalition.


The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare provides information on one of the key reasons children are needlessly taken from their families: lack of affordable housing.

Other organizations with outstanding information about family policing include:

Movement for Family Power

The upEND Movement

JMac For Families

New York City Family Policy Project