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Broken: Transforming Child Protective Services—Notes of a Former Caseworker--Jessica Pryce in conversation with Karimah Dillard

Event date: 
Tuesday, March 26, 2024 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place in person at Charis and on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. This event is free, but registration is required for virtual attendance. Click here to register to attend virtually. Please read the in-person event guidelines at the bottom of this page to be sure you can participate in the event.

Charis welcomes Jessica Pryce in conversation with Karimah Dillard for a discussion of Broken: Transforming Child Protective Services—Notes of a Former Caseworker. Joining the ranks of Evicted and The New Jim Crow, a former caseworker’s searing, clear-eyed investigation of the child welfare system—from foster care to incarceration—that exposes the deep-rooted biases shaping the system, witnessed through the lives of several Black families. This event is co-sponsored by GCADV, WRCDV, and SisterSong. The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) is the leading voice to end domestic violence in Georgia, representing over 50 domestic violence organizations and programs across the state. Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence's mission is to create a society in which domestic violence no longer exists. We strive to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the diverse community of domestic violence survivors and their children with programs that promote safety, compassion, connection, advocacy, and prevention. SisterSong's mission is to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.

Dr. Jessica Pryce knows the child welfare system firsthand and, in this long overdue book, breaks it down from the inside out, sharing her professional journey and offering the crucial perspectives of caseworkers and Black women impacted by the system. It is a groundbreaking and eye-opening confrontation of the inherent and systemic racism deeply entrenched within the child welfare system.

Pryce started her social work career with an internship where she was committed to helping keep children safe. In the book, she walks alongside her close friends and even her family as they navigate the system, while sharing her own reckoning with the requirements of her job and her role in the systemic harm. Through poignant narratives and introspection, readers witness the harrowing effects of a well-intentioned workforce that has lost its way, demonstrating how separations are often not in a child’s best interests.

With a renewed commitment to strengthening families in her role as activist, Pryce invites the child welfare workforce to embark on a journey of self-reflection and radical growth. At once a framework for transforming child protective services and an intimate, stunning first-hand account of the system as it currently operates, Broken takes everyday scenarios as its focus rather than extreme child welfare cases, challenging readers to critically examine their own mindsets and biases in order to reimagine how we help families in need.

Jessica Pryce is on Faculty at Florida State University’s College of Social Work. For the past fifteen years, she has worked in child welfare from multiple angles, including direct casework, research, teaching, training, and policy development. She has trained over 150 child welfare organizations where she empowers professionals to reimagine their role and their work. She currently lives in Florida where she partners with child welfare leaders who are working on system-wide culture shifts and organizational change.

Karimah Dillard, LMSW, RDT/BCT is The Director of Policy and Co-Director of the Justice for Incarcerated Survivors project with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV). Karimah has been a part of the domestic violence movement since 2017 first as an Advocate and then as Manager of Community Partnerships for a local domestic violence agency. In her current role with GCADV, Karimah’s primary focus is to collaborate with coalition members, lawmakers and key stakeholders in advocating for local and federal policies that uphold and protect the interests and rights of survivors across the state of Georgia. Karimah provides leadership and oversight in GCADV’s Justice for Incarcerated Survivors (JFIS) project where she advocates on behalf of incarcerated survivors with a history of domestic violence.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

In-person event guidelines: 

  • All attendees must wear a face mask at all times inside the building 

  • We will begin seating people at 7:00 PM ET.

  • This event will be live-streamed via crowdcast. Click here to register to attend virtually.

  • As a reminder: If you are not feeling well, please do not come to the event.

  • If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or to request specific accessibility accommodations, please contact info@charisbooksandmore.com or call the store at 404-524-0304

If you would like to watch the virtual event with computer-generated captions, please watch in Google Chrome and enable captions. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we continue to connect across distances.

By attending our event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
A Charis Hybrid (in-person + virtual) Event
184 S. Candler Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Broken: Transforming Child Protective Services—Notes of a Former Caseworker By Jessica Pryce Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063036192
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad - March 19th, 2024

"It’s an invaluable insider account of a pressing social issue." - Publishers Weekly


Event Summary: 
A former caseworker’s searing, clear-eyed investigation of the child welfare system—from foster care to incarceration—that exposes the deep-rooted biases shaping the system, witnessed through the lives of several Black families.