Journal of Law and Social Policy

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English Abstract

The removal of children from their families and communities has long-lasting and often devastating consequences. The breaking of the bonds that connect children to family and community erodes the transmission of culture, of language, of belonging, and of identity. There is no doubt that there are circumstances in which the well-being of a child requires that changes be made in who is to be entrusted with the responsibility for care. However, there is equally no doubt that child welfare systems across the country are plagued by serious shortcomings: bonds are broken unnecessarily; structural failings undermine parents’ well-being and their capacity to provide adequately for their children; children, once removed, have limited or no access to their cultural roots; and racism is embedded in structures, practices, and individual encounters.

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