Statewide Family Defense Advocates Lay Out Legislative Agenda for 2022

(New York, NY) – In a recently issued letter, 21 family defense organizations representing thousands of parents across New York State in Family Court called on Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to pass a suite of bills aimed at protecting the rights of parents and caregivers and reducing family regulation and surveillance that disproportionately target low-income Black and brown New Yorkers.


“As public defenders who have represented thousands of parents in Brooklyn family court, we have witnessed the traumatic effects of the so-called ‘child welfare system’ on New York’s families,” said Lauren Shapiro, Managing Director of Brooklyn Defender’ Family Defense Practice. “Steeped in the same systemic racism as the criminal legal system, the family regulation system disproportionately targets families of color living in poverty, subjects families to surveillance and separation, causing long-lasting harm that ripples through generations and communities. New York has an opportunity to minimize the harmful impact of this system, by investing in resources that will support New York families and enacting a slate of legislation that will empower parents and keep families together.”

View the full press release here.

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