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Child Welfare, Parenting by the Corporate State and The Children Who Stay at Home

Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, Assistant Professor, Law and Society, Wilfred Laurier University

Published April 19, 2018 by Technologies of Justice.

On January 26, 2018, Kelly Gallagher-Mackay presented a talk entitled Child Welfare, Parenting by the Corporate State and the Children, part of a session on the state's role in the lives of children and families. The session took place at the Technologies of Justice Conference, held at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.



Gallagher-Mackay explained child welfare and educational well-being, and how it often focuses on corporate parenthood and the responsibility of child protection toward the children in someone's care. She described their constant constructing, reconstructing and enforcement of relationships of care and the family relationship regulation through the concept of corporate parenthood of the Crown. She focused on the Crown’s extra-ambiguous responsibility toward children who receive services from childhood welfare but remain with their families. She explained the major issues she has found in the system of childhood welfare in Ontario and how although the system's code of ethics stresses the best interest of the child, the protection of the child and the elbowing of children, the last point of elbowing is often neglected. She explains the statistics of child welfare, and how although in eight per cent of child protection cases the children leave their families, the vast majority stay with their families.
She explained how child welfare is divided between the state and the ones giving the care, and how there is a trend of seeking to ensure adequate parenting is provided in outside-of-home settings. She also asked, “How do you regulate the care given at home?” She emphasized the need to scrutinize and enforce the roles of the parents and the penalties put on parents if they do not provide care, and the lack of penalties on the state if it does not provide resources or care. She provided insight on the gaps in the care initiatives for those outside of the care of the system and the gaps in advocacy for childhood welfare outside of the system. She stressed the lack of care for children living in the community, even if the child welfare system has been involved, and a lack of accountability for the system itself regardless. She emphasized the need to draw attention to the lack of systemic review and overview in this public system of care, and the need for change to be able to provide better care when it comes to welfare of children.