From my list on how our systems are failing vulnerable children.
Who am I?
I’m an investigative journalist and author, and a decade ago I began digging into the child welfare system—what we call the patchwork web of child protection agencies around the country. The more I learned, the more I realized how this system, which is ostensibly to help children in need, is actually perpetrating deep and lasting harm on generations of children and families. These books have helped me understand how we punish poor people instead of helping them, and how our racist systems harm Black and Indigenous children. They’ve also helped me to sit with the reality of child abuse, and begin to see a different way of preventing harm and healing those who’ve been hurt.
Roxanna's book list on how our systems are failing vulnerable children
Why did Roxanna love this book?
Andrea Elliott, a New York Times reporter, spent nearly a decade reporting on Dasani Coates, a Black child growing up in a New York City shelter, and the result is a deeply humane look at a family in poverty.
This Pulitzer-winning book makes clear that the child protection system is a downstream solution to problems that begin with the failure of our society to meet families’ basic human needs.
As Dasani’s journey becomes public in a front page New York Times series, she is afforded an opportunity to escape poverty and become educated in an elite institution, but Elliott shows that plucking a favored child out of her family—even for the most positive of reasons—is still painful for the child.