Jun 2, 2023
On June 2 2023, the Border(ing) Practices research team presented a paper titled "Bordering through epistemic ignorance – The social invisibility of precarious immigration status in Canada’s child welfare system."
Abstract: In the wake of public outcries from Indigenous and Black communities, child welfare systems across Canada are redesigning how they work with Indigenous and racialized families to attend to systemic racism in child protection investigations towards developing culturally safe approaches to identifying “risk.” In this paper, we draw from feminist critical border studies to examine the visibility of “cultural identity” and “cultural safety” when constructing “risk” assessment and notions of “good parenting” alongside the invisibility of precarious immigration status in assessments of future risk for child abuse or neglect. While some child welfare organizations have dedicated staff and resources to support immigrant children and youth in their “care” to regularize their status, attention to the role that immigration status plays in the lives of racialized families, remains underexamined, despite the harsh consequences for children and parents whose deportability constrains both children’s and parental rights and increases the threat of permanent family separation. We argue that emphasis on the “culture” of immigrant others reinforces epistemic ignorance towards the way Canada’s immigration system produces racial, gendered, and class forms of differential inclusion among immigrants who have a precarious legal relationship with the nation.
For more information, download the PPT slides below.