A new vision for family justice: Advocates release groundbreaking recommendations to help BIPOC families thrive

Families of color are disproportionately represented in the Family Regulation System (known as child welfare or child protective services). In response to removals and mistreatment of families rooted in racism, advocates have released the groundbreaking Family Justice Summit Report, offering recommendations to workers in the system, hospitals, schools, elected officials and policymakers.

“Black, Indigenous and other communities of color deserve a support system focused on keeping families together,” said Alexis Cobbins, Executive Director of the California Preterm Birth Initiative at the University of California, San Francisco. “The system needs to confront a deep history of racism and work toward a future that respects all families and their right to thrive.”

The San Francisco Black and Indigenous People of Color Family Justice Summit in the fall of 2020 brought together 53 organizers and community members from health care, legal services, social services and community organizations to identify barriers to keeping families together and envision a system that promotes dignity and healing. The concrete actions in the report can provide a model for people around the country working in these interlocking systems to repair the harm they’ve inflicted and work toward a more just system.

“Even though BIPOC people are most impacted by the Family Regulation System, our voices aren’t included in the conversation,” said Shanell Williams, Director of Community Engagement and Partnership at CA PTBi and President, City College Board of Trustees. “We know what we need to thrive. Our families cannot afford to wait any longer for change. Now it’s time for the people with power to use these recommendations to dismantle our current unjust system.”