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File #: 190798    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 10/10/2019 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 10/10/2019
Title: Authorizing the establishment of a "Special Committee on Child Separation In Philadelphia" to review child separation in Philadelphia's child welfare system and develop recommendations to ensure compliance with State Child Protective Services Law to protect children and due process rights of families and prevent the unnecessary break-up of families.
Sponsors: Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Bass
Attachments: 1. Signature19079800
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultTallyAction DetailsVideo
10/10/20190 CITY COUNCIL Introduced and Moved to Be Placed on This Week's Final Passage Calendar - Rules Suspended   Action details Not available
10/10/20190 CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED   Action details Not available

Title

Authorizing the establishment of a “Special Committee on Child Separation In Philadelphia” to review child separation in Philadelphia’s child welfare system and develop recommendations to ensure compliance with State Child Protective Services Law to protect children and due process rights of families and prevent the unnecessary break-up of families.

Body

WHEREAS, Separation of children from their families, even for the short-term, results in emotional and physical harm and toxic stress, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and affecting health with long-term consequences for the child, the family, and the community; and

 

WHEREAS, The issue of child separation from families arises in the context of municipal child welfare systems; and

 

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania, like every jurisdiction, requires child separation only when it’s absolutely necessary; and

 

WHEREAS, There are situations where it is absolutely necessary to separate children from their families; and

 

WHEREAS, Philadelphia unfortunately has the highest poverty rate of any large city in the country, and the highest child separation rate in the country-three times that of New York City and four times that of Chicago; and

 

WHEREAS, There is no evidence that Philadelphians are more likely than any other person in the country to abuse their children; and

 

WHEREAS, The 2017 edition of the National Association of Counsel for Children Redbook-a legal guide for child welfare attorneys-contains this statement from Marvin Ventrell, a former NACC executive director:  “Our zeal to protect children, to be the ‘child savers’ once again, and perhaps our failure to value ‘adequate parenting’ over removal, taught us one of our biggest lessons.  Our efforts can and sometimes do harm children”; and

 

WHEREAS, New York City has successfully developed and implemented reforms that have had a large positive impact on reducing child removals, and promoting child welfare and strengthening families; and

 

WHEREAS, A special committee should be established to review child separations in  Philadelphia’s child welfare system, and provide recommendations to improve child welfare policy and practice in Philadelphia; now, therefore, be it

 

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That Council hereby authorizes the establishment of a “Special Committee on Child Separation in Philadelphia,” consisting of those City Council members and others appointed by the Council President, to review child separation in Philadelphia’s child welfare system and develop recommendations to ensure compliance with State Protective Services Law to protect children and due process rights of families and prevent the unnecessary break-up of families.

 

End