FIJ Quarterly - Summer 2022 Edition

eviction when that family has poor credit or a criminal history, which could result in application denials. These agencies must fully understand and take seriously the legal and moral requirement that poverty cannot be the basis for removing or separating children from their families. By acting as part of the “community” for families living in poverty, child welfare agencies can achieve their true mission, becoming the allies, rather than the adversaries, of these families. In order to best support our most vulnerable populations, all “members of the community” must coordinate and integrate. There needs to be flexibility in program rules and procedures to be ready to respond to changes and circumstances in crisis. Agencies and

organizations must share information, provide transparency on their systems (including where there are gaps in service and knowledge), and fully communicate with one another to enhance community support. Child welfare agencies could play the role of coordinating a tightly interwoven net of individual, governmental, and organizational supports which are better equipped to address needs during crisis and non-crisis situations. _________________________ Jey Rajaraman is an attorney and Management Consultant for Family Integrity & Justice Work at Public Knowledge ® . Prior to that, she worked tirelessly for families in the child welfare system as chief counsel of the Family Representation Project at Legal Services of New Jersey.

Faces, Miami

© Anisa Rahim

FIJ Quarterly | Summer 2022 | 121

Powered by