Moving Equity to the Center of Child Welfare, with Dr. Jessica Pryce

Season 4Episode 12July 15, 2022

In a child welfare system in which Black and Indigenous children are more likely to be separated from their families, what practical steps can we take right now to make a difference?

In child maltreatment cases, while our attention is focused on the child and family in front of us, do we give any thought to the child protection system itself? What do we understand about how family separation was baked into the model for Black and Indigenous children right from the very beginning? And how does that play out today? Dr. Jessica Pryce, director of the Florida Institute for Child Welfare, joins us to discuss how it would change our work with families to center equity. To center community and the child’s attachment to their corner of the world. Might we radically change the experience for children when they can’t live at home by asking, “Who already loves this child?” Dr. Pryce offers practical information that child abuse professionals can use right now.

Topics in this episode:

  • Origin story (1:43)
  • Foundations of the child welfare system (3:23)
  • What we can do (7:58)
  • Start building a community (15:17)
  • Successful supervisory strategies (17:43)
  • Family separation (24:23)
  • Advice for policy makers (34:02)
  • Advice for child abuse professionals (42:26)
  • For more information (46:14)


Jessica Pryce, Ph.D., MSW, is director of the Florida Institute for Child Welfare at Florida State University

Dr. Pryce was the opening keynote speaker at NCA’s Leadership Conference in June 2022

To Transform Child Welfare, Take Race Out of the Equation,” TED Talk by Dr. Pryce

Social Security Act of 1935 created Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) and Aid to Families of Dependent Children (AFDC)

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA)

Family First Prevention and Services Act


Abbreviations used:

CACs: Children’s Advocacy Centers

CASA: court appointed special advocate

CPS: child protective services

DEI: diversity, equity, and inclusion

TPR: termination of parental rights


For more information about National Children’s Alliance and the work of Children’s Advocacy Centers, visit our website at And join us on Facebook at One in Ten podcast.

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