Part 2 of the Michigan Radio report on poverty:
The courts are a place where being poor can really hurt you. Especially if you’re there dealing with the foster care system.
“If you go down to Detroit, to Flint, you will see that the foster
care system is a system designed for poor people,” says University of
Michigan law professor Vivek Sankaran. He’s also director of the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy. He deals with a lot of foster care cases.
“You will rarely see a family with means stuck in that system,” he says.
Sankaran says most of the cases he deals with don’t involve parents
who do horrible things. They involve parents who don’t have resources.
He tells the story of a mother who lost her children because she left
them at home for 20 minutes while she went to the laundromat. The kids
were 10, 8 and 5 years old. The mom didn’t have money for child care.