Well, that’s my take on this piece of dogwhistling, anyway.
Oh, sure, it sounds nice and reasonable. We don’t want to waste Mah Taxpayer Dollars monitoring obviously good parents, right?
Until you think about how exactly you personally are defining “obviously good parents”, and perhaps figuring out that it might be the teensiest bit subjective. And also really mostly based on stereotypes about poor brown people bashing their kids to death because they’re inherently primitive.
Really, let’s just consider this supposedly-eminently-sensible list of criteria from one-man-lobby-group Bob McCoskrie:
“How many times in abuse cases have we heard ‘the family was known to CYF’? It is families where there is family breakdown and instability, drug and alcohol abuse, low maternal age, mental illness, previous family violence – all the risk factors highlighted in reports over the past decade on child abuse – who we should be closely monitoring.”
Totally sensible. But … you know what? Every single item on that list applies to my family. Divorces galore, alcoholism in spades, teenage pregnancies left right and centre, depression, anxiety, history of generational physical abuse …
All the risk factors.
But were we “known to CYFS”? Did anyone think shit, here’s a family we need to keep an eye on, because there’s clearly some big issues which could result in severe harm?
The family home being located in one of the richer streets of Epsom, and the family complexion ranging from “pasty” to “lightly tanned”, maaaaaaaay just have something to do with that.
But I guess as soon as we start listing other “risk factors” like lack of access to education and housing and healthcare and jobs, we might have to start wondering if maybe we as part of the wider society have a tiny weensy hand in this whole deprivation/poverty thing.
And then we wouldn’t be able to create a police state around the specific groups of people who we don’t like.