While the goal of Family Policing is supposed to be to protect children and ensure their safety, there are major concerns about the over-policing and over-criminalization of families, particularly in communities that are already marginalized or disproportionately affected by poverty and systemic racism. Operation Stop CPS argues that the Family Policing system can result in families being separated, children being removed from their homes unnecessarily, and parents being criminalized for behavior that may not actually pose a risk to their children. According to them, that’s what happened to a North Carolina mother whose child was taken away by child protective services more than 2 years ago.
In October of 2020, Celine Diona faced a difficult situation when the pandemic forced her to close her hair braiding business, leaving her struggling to make ends meet. Falling behind on rent, Celine evicted from her landlord, which ultimately led to law enforcement and Child Protective Services becoming involved.
Wake County Human Services response to this family’s plight was far from compassionate. Instead of providing any assistance to this family, they made the devastating decision to remove Celine’s child Jean Diona from her care, while also arresting her for attempting to prevent her son from being taken away. Celine hasn’t seen her child since. According to Operation Stop CPS, Diona was never given the opportunity to be reunified with her child.
What’s more distressing is that Celine, who speaks limited English, was never provided with an interpreter or given the chance to be reunited with her son. In fact, her parental rights were eventually terminated. – Amanda Wallace, OperationStopCPS
It’s time to take action says, Amanda Wallace from Operation Stop CPS. She is asking the community to please consider emailing Deputy Director Antonia Pedroza of North Carolina at Antonia.Pedroza@wakegov.com and urging her to respond to Jean Diona’s aunt, Regina Dore, who is seeking information about Jean’s current whereabouts.
Together, we can work towards a more just and equitable system that truly supports those in need. It’s important that we hold those responsible for this injustice accountable for their actions. Celine and her child deserved better treatment, and it’s crucial that we demand transparency and answers about their current situation.
This case highlights the systemic issues that exist within our social services systems and the devastating consequences they can have on vulnerable families. We must work towards creating a more supportive and compassionate system that prioritizes the well-being of families and children, especially during times of crisis. Let us continue to speak up and demand justice for Celine, her child, and all the families who have been mistreated by our social services systems.