An award-winning scholar exposes the foundational racism of the child welfare system and calls for radical change 
 
Many believe the child welfare system protects children from abuse. But as Torn Apart uncovers, this system is designed to punish Black families. Drawing on decades of research, legal scholar and sociologist Dorothy Roberts reveals that the child welfare system is better understood as a “family policing system” that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities. Child protection investigations ensnare a majority of Black children, putting their families under intense state surveillance and regulation. Black children are disproportionately likely to be torn from their families and placed in foster care, driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment. 
 
The only way to stop the destruction caused by family policing, Torn Apart argues, is to abolish the child welfare system and liberate Black communities. 

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Reader Reviews

Praise

“Once again Dorothy Roberts offers us a bold, visionary critique of the contemporary institutional consequences of colonialism and slavery. Her penetrating analysis of the family policing system and its masquerade as child protective services not only persuades us that reforms alone will forever reinforce the system’s racist and repressive foundations, it also compels us to imagine new modes of care and frameworks for abolitionist futures.”
 —Angela Y. Davis
"Torn Apart is a brilliant and impassioned call for abolition of our racist and disastrous systems of family policing. Better than anyone else could, Dorothy Roberts shows convincingly why we must reimagine child welfare and develop new systems for meeting human needs, preventing violence, and caring for children, families, and communities."—Michelle Alexander, New York Times–bestselling author of The New Jim Crow
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