What We Work For
Black and Native children are over-surveilled, over-policed, and over-removed by the child welfare system.
In partnership with the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, the upEND movement works to create a society in which the forcible separation of children from their families is no longer an acceptable solution for families in need.
How We Do It
We have known for decades that Black and Native children have disproportionately high rates of family separation and involvement with child welfare systems. We also know that foster care causes harm to many children. In addition to the initial trauma of separation from their families, children too often experience additional trauma from failed or unsafe placements, multiple moves while in care, placements in congregate care settings, and loss of connections to friends, extended family, and school. These stressors put children who spend time in foster care at high risk for a host of negative outcomes including low educational attainment, homelessness, unemployment, economic hardship, unplanned pregnancies, mental health disorders, and criminal justice involvement.
The potential for these negative outcomes is increased for Black and Native youth who are already at risk of experiencing adverse outcomes due to structural and institutional racism.
Racism is so deeply rooted in child welfare systems’ history, policies, and practices that they are not easily modified or revised. Rather, the system as we know it has to be ended in order to ensure racial equity.
Thus, the work of the upEND movement isn’t about reform, it is about ending the current child welfare system as we know it; it is about the abolition of child welfare through the creation of new, anti-racist structures and practices to keep children safe and protected in their homes. It is about changing our approaches to family poverty and instability so that we are working collectively to tackle the core stressors that make children vulnerable to unnecessary family separation.
While this webpage will give you an important outline, visit www.upENDmovement.org (COMING SOON) to get to the heart of the upEND movement and learn how you can get involved with this critically important work. Join us on Twitter @upENDmovement to get the latest information.