Race, Gender, and Poverty Governance: The Case of the U.S. Child Welfare System. By: Woodward, Kerry C. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society. Summer2021, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p428-450. 23p.

This article argues that the U.S. child welfare system is a primary institution of racialized and gendered poverty governance, operating at the nexus of the assistive and punitive arms of the state. With attention to the ways race and gender structure the child welfare system, I apply the concept of neoliberal paternalism to examine state efforts to reform “bad” parents into “good neoliberal citizen-parents.” I highlight the increasingly decentralized and privatized child welfare workforce and its effects on governance. Finally, I explore the contradictions around expectations of “self-sufficiency.”