Sarah Font, Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Pennsylvania State University, presents, "Is Less Better? Revisiting the Role of Child Protection and Justice Systems within Vulnerable Families"

Over the past few decades, the U.S. has experienced significant declines in involuntary interventions within three major systems that have the power to separate children and parents. Foster care placements in the child welfare system have plummeted in recent years, following longer term declines in juvenile detentions and arrests. Group homes and institutions for children are closing at a rapid pace. Adult prison and criminal justice supervision populations have declined, and states have begun to decriminalize drugs and reduce the use of cash bail. Yet, more recently, there are emerging signals of another pendulum swing, as states struggle to ameliorate social problems through more voluntary or rehabilitative means. Using various state and national data sources, this talk will explore the interconnectedness of child welfare, juvenile justice, and adult criminal justice systems, describe recent and historical system trends, and revisit assumptions about the nature and impacts of involuntary system interventions on children.

Event Date
Gross Hall 270
Event Type