Skip to main content

Abolition of the Child Welfare System

July 19, 2022

Prof. Dorothy E. Roberts recently spoke with Apple News in Conversation about why the child welfare system should be abolished.

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, recently spoke with Apple News in Conversation about her new book, Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families — And How Abolition Can Build a Safer World (Basic Books, 2022). ​ 

From Apple News in Conversation:

Every year, hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. are removed from their homes and placed in foster care by child-protective services. But is this the best way to protect our kids? Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with Dorothy Roberts, author of the book ‘Torn Apart,’ who argues that America’s child-welfare system does more harm than good — and needs to be abolished.

Roberts is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law and the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society in the Center for Africana Studies. Her other books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997). She also recently penned “Race,” a chapter in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, focusing on race as a political construct and the historical regulation of Black women’s bodies.

Roberts joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with joint appointments in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School. She is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and book chapters as well as a co-editor of six books on topics such as constitutional law and women and the law.

Listen to Roberts’ interview.