Under the Watchful Eye of All: Disabled Parents and the Family Policing System’s Web of Surveillance
The child welfare system, more accurately referred to as the family policing system, employs extensive surveillance that disproportionately targets marginalized families, subjecting them to relentless oversight. Scholars observe that this ongoing surveillance obstructs effective parenting, exacerbates existing injustices, and contradicts its stated protective purpose. Instead of safeguarding, surveillance transforms into a tool of control against the families it should assist, particularly those who are already vulnerable. This Article extends the analysis of the family policing system’s surveillance practices to encompass parents with disabilities and their children, revealing the unique consequences of continuous observation. The system’s ableism amplifies scrutiny of disabled parents, disregarding their disability-related needs and causing harm under the guise of protection. The culmination of this persistent surveillance results in heightened systemic harm, trapping families in an inescapable cycle of perpetual scrutiny.