Twenty-five years ago, one out of every 125 children in the United States had an incarcerated parent. Today, that number is one out of every 28. It's easy to imagine the effects on a child of having a parent behind bars for years. But what about the moment when it begins, when mom or dad is in handcuffs?
Such was the focus of Rachel Blustain's April 2013 article, “Pushing Cops to Consider Kids When Arresting Parents,” which won first place in the “best article on a social issue” category at last night's Ippie Awards, run by the Center for Community and Ethnic Media at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
Blustain looked at a growing body of research on the impact of arrests on kids, increasing sensitivity of police departments to the problem and new legislative efforts to further spare children unnecessary pain when their parent is busted or locked up.
Blustain is a journalist, social worker and editorial director of Rise, a publication written by and for parents affected by the child welfare system. A graduate of Brown University, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner, young child and dog.
Blustain earlier authored City Limits' in-depth investigation of the troubling phenomenon of broken adoptions, and in recent months has published stories on false reports of child abuse, efforts to prevent burnout among child welfare case-workers and a new initiative to provide affordable housing to families who might otherwise be separated by a foster care placement.
City Limits' coverage of child welfare is generously underwritten by the DeCamp Foundation.