Transforming Child Protective Services—Notes of a Former Caseworker
by Jessica Pryce
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Pub Date 19 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 14 May 2024
Joining the ranks of Evicted and The New Jim Crow, a former caseworker’s searing, clear-eyed investigation of the child welfare system—from foster care to incarceration—that exposes the deep-rooted biases shaping the system, witnessed through the lives of several Black families.
Dr. Jessica Pryce knows the child welfare system firsthand and, in this long overdue book, breaks it down from the inside out, sharing her professional journey and offering the crucial perspectives of caseworkers and Black women impacted by the system. It is a groundbreaking and eye-opening confrontation of the inherent and systemic racism deeply entrenched within the child welfare system.
Pryce started her social work career with an internship where she was committed to helping keep children safe. In the book, she walks alongside her close friends and even her family as they navigate the system, while sharing her own reckoning with the requirements of her job and her role in the systemic harm. Through poignant narratives and introspection, readers witness the harrowing effects of a well-intentioned workforce that has lost its way, demonstrating how separations are often not in a child’s best interests.
With a renewed commitment to strengthening families in her role as activist, Pryce invites the child welfare workforce to embark on a journey of self-reflection and radical growth. At once a framework for transforming child protective services and an intimate, stunning first-hand account of the system as it currently operates, Broken takes everyday scenarios as its focus rather than extreme child welfare cases, challenging readers to critically examine their own mindsets and biases in order to reimagine how we help families in need.