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Mama’s of Color and Mental Health: The harm of state intervention via the Child Protection System

August 17, 2019 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

There is an urgent need for the sexual reproductive health profession to expand our views on maternal mental health. As social and racial justice advocates, many folks in the field understand the ways in which the state can unjustly surveil, order and criminalize people of color at alarming rates. However, little attention is paid to the ways in which the child protection system disproportionally surveils and criminalizes women of color and their children.
This presentation invites participants to reflect on the child protection system’s far reaching injury against women of color, their families, and their communities at large by targeting women who experience symptoms of perinatal mood disorders and postpartum depression, as opposed to providing alternatives to treatment afforded to white women and those who have access to more expensive, private medical and mental health treatment. Child protection is a field that employs huge numbers of social workers nationwide, most of whom set out to help children and families. In addition, many hospitals, OB/GYN and pediatrician offices employ social workers to assist in many ways, but specifically with regard to identifying and investigating possible abuse or neglect. The aforementioned making this a reproductive justice and sexual freedom issue. It’s time we expand the discussion to examine the current and historic racial motivations surrounding child protection system intervention and prosecution, the overlaps between race, poverty and who is targeted for child protection intervention, and broaden our understanding of forensic advocacy to include zealous defense of parents in family court.


August 17, 2019
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Workshop Category:


Beech A