Reimagining Child Welfare - Strategies to Abolish the System

Reimagining Child Welfare - Strategies to Abolish the System
The Lawyer Referral and Information Services - Court Programs presents

Reimagining Child Welfare - Strategies to Abolish the System
How abolition of the current child welfare system can build a safer world

Date Thursday, March 23, 2023
MCLE Registration 4:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Hybrid Program 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Post Event Reception  6:00 - 6:30 p.m.
MCLE 1 Hour in Recognition and Elimination of Bias


Professor Dorothy Roberts
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Many believe the child welfare system’s purpose is to protect children from abuse. Drawing on decades of research, Dorothy Roberts reveals that this state apparatus is better understood as a “family policing system” because it is designed to accuse, investigate, regulate, and disrupt the most marginalized families—especially those that are impoverished, Black, and Indigenous—by threatening them with child removal. Child protection investigations will ensnare half of Black children before they reach age 18, putting their families under intense state surveillance and supervision. Black children are disproportionately likely to be torn from their families and placed in foster care, driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment. Child protection agencies collaborate with criminal law enforcement and prisons, and they share a common carceral logic that addresses human needs by punishment instead of social change. Roberts argues that, given family policing’s oppressive design, reform efforts cannot solve the problem. Rather, the only way to stop the harm caused by family policing is to abolish the child welfare system and its underlying logic—to dismantle it incrementally while simultaneously imagining and building a radically different approach to supporting families and keeping children safe.


  • Recognition of racism and inequity in the current child welfare system, including legal mandates and funding directives that promote “family
    policing and regulation.”
  • Identification of racial bias and disparate impact of the child welfare system on Black, Indigenous and impoverished families.
  • Legal strategies for prevention of further systemic racism and racial harm.
  • Connection of child welfare system to juvenile delinquency system, policing, criminal prosecution and incarceration, including the combined effects on Black families.
  • Logic of incremental abolition to dismantle current law and system, while reimagining and rebuilding a radically different framework to support families and keep children safer than the current legal system.
  • Policy recommendations to alter legal mandates, funding distribution, and federal law to prevent further harm to BIPOC communities and low-income families.

Event Code: L238616

For a printable flyer, click here

This is a hybrid event. You have two ticket options, please select one.
* Pre-Registration is required for either option
- Virtual Option
- In-Person Option (Limited Spacing)
Bay View Opera House
4705 3rd St, San Francisco, CA


 $5    Virtual Attendance
 $35    In-Person Attendance (Bay View Opera House)

Health and Safety:
 Will be in guidelines pursuant to SF health orders.

To Register

  1. Sign-in to your account and select Register Myself at the bottom of the page.
    • Use Forgot Username or Forgot Password if you don't know your account information. Don't have an account? Select Create Account
  2. Select Proceed to Checkout to enter payment information, submit your order and complete the registration process.

Program Access

If you registered for the Virtual Option a link to access the Zoom webinar will be sent in your confirmation e-mail prior to the start of the event. If you do not receive login credentials, please double check your Spam Folder. If you have any trouble, please contact as soon as possible before the program starts so we can assist with troubleshooting. You may need to consult your local IT technician for connection issues.  Please note that NO recording will be shared or come available after the live event.

Substitution, Cancellation, and Refund Requests

For CLE events of 1.5 hours or less, Lunch & Learn programs, Happy Hours, Receptions, and Mixers, a refund is available if you submit your cancellation request at least 48 hours prior to the event. A $10 handling fee will deducted from your refund. Please complete the Event Cancellation Form.

If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute. Please complete the Event Cancellation Form.

MCLE Notice

To receive MCLE credit, you must sign in during the designated MCLE registration period. This activity is approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California. BASF is a certified provider: Provider #103


People with disabilities and/or special requests should contact BASF regarding reasonable accommodations.

3/23/2023 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Hybrid Event Bay View Opera House 4705 3rd St San Francisco, CA
Online registration not available.

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