• Torn Apart

  • How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World
  • By: Dorothy Roberts
  • Narrated by: Dorothy Roberts, Janina Edwards
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Torn Apart

By: Dorothy Roberts
Narrated by: Dorothy Roberts,Janina Edwards
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Publisher's Summary

An award-winning scholar exposes the foundational racism of the child welfare system and calls for radical change 

Many believe the child welfare system protects children from abuse. But as Torn Apart uncovers, this system is designed to punish Black families. Drawing on decades of research, legal scholar and sociologist Dorothy Roberts reveals that the child welfare system is better understood as a “family policing system” that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities. Child protection investigations ensnare a majority of Black children, putting their families under intense state surveillance and regulation. Black children are disproportionately likely to be torn from their families and placed in foster care, driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment. 

The only way to stop the destruction caused by family policing, Torn Apart argues, is to abolish the child welfare system and liberate Black communities.

©2022 Dorothy Roberts (P)2022 Basic Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Roberts buttresses her impassioned call for dismantling the child welfare system by skillfully situating it within a larger web of institutions intended to surveil, control, and punish Black Americans. This illuminating and alarming study shatters the 'facade of benevolence' surrounding foster care."—Publishers Weekly

Torn Apart is a brilliant and impassioned call for abolition of our racist and disastrous systems of family policing. Better than anyone else could, Dorothy Roberts shows convincingly why we must reimagine child welfare and develop new systems for meeting human needs, preventing violence, and caring for children, families, and communities."—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
"Dorothy Roberts has brilliantly illuminated the Black experience in America for decades. Her new book on America's punitive child welfare system is a bold and critically important reimagining of how to better protect children. Her thesis on how the legacy of slavery and carceral systems have impacted Black families is rooted in decades of rigorous examination, research, and reflection. This is a compelling, thoughtful, and urgent work."—Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

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Important to Read. Unfinished Work.

The book is a must read to understand why the child welfare system does not work. However, it may leave you wanting a part two with more detailed solutions. Other people, agencies and institutions will need to use this book to come up with a game plan.

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Powerful!

Loved it! The system is not broken, it is functioning exactly how it was designed to work.