Gender-affirming Care is Not "Child Abuse"
February 25, 2022
We strongly condemn the recent actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott to classify gender-affirming care for transgender children as “child abuse.”
Simply stated, gender-affirming care for transgender children is not child abuse. It is, in fact, a demonstration of love and acceptance. By contrast, the Texas action is abusive and ignores the facts that transgender children and adults are at greater risk of depression, thoughts of suicide and attempted suicide.
Equating gender affirming care with child abuse is a direct assault on the purpose of child protection laws and diverts child protection resources from legitimate reports of suspected child abuse, thereby endangering children. Texas’ action will require doctors, nurses, teachers, and other adults who have contact with transgender children to report purported “abuse” to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or face possible criminal penalties.
The Greater Bay Area CAPC’s leadership joins California leaders in strongly denouncing the Texas action, including: Senator Scott Wiener- “CA will always have the backs of LGBTQ youth & their families.”, Mayor London Breed -“In San Francisco, we will continue to support all of our LGBTQ youth, the parents who love them, and our entire trans community.” Trent Rhorer, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency, along with his colleagues throughout California at the County Welfare Directors Association of California, and its Executive Director, Cathy Senderling, also noted the pernicious effect of this action “in calling on child welfare agencies for political purposes when abuse or neglect are not present runs the risk pulling our already limited staff resources away from vulnerable children and youth who are victims of, or at risk of, abuse and neglect.”
As an organization dedicated to strengthening families and ending child abuse, we stand with others from across the county to urge Texas leadership to reject attempts to use laws that are meant to protect children, to instead cause them great harm.
The Greater Bay Area Child Abuse Prevention Council Coalition
Alameda County Child Abuse Prevention Council • Contra Costa Child Abuse Prevention Council • Marin County Child Abuse Prevention Council • Monterey County Child Abuse Prevention Council • Child Abuse Prevention Council of Napa County (Cope Family Center) • Safe & Sound – San Francisco • San Mateo County Child Abuse Prevention Council • Santa Clara County Child Abuse Prevention Council • Solano County Child Abuse Prevention Council (Children’s Network) • Sonoma County Child Abuse Prevention Council (Child Parent Institute)
August 5, 2020
The Greater Bay Area Child Abuse Prevention Council (GBA CAPC) Coalition is committed to being an accountable and supportive ally in systematically eliminating structural racism and inequities faced by children and families in our region.
We recognize the traumatic effects of racism on Black families; it is real and cannot be ignored. We want to state now, unequivocally, that Black Lives Matter and Black Trauma Matters.
As parents and community members, we grieve for the mothers and fathers who have mourned the unjust deaths of their Black and Brown children, young and grown. As we grieve as a nation, we must confront that the very systems we helped build and operate have enabled — and far too often exacerbated — structural inequities.
In 2020, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, families are facing the closing of child-care facilities and businesses, resulting in the loss of support and income. More urgently than ever, our families need us to help them stay safe and grow strong. Whatever circumstances bring parents and caregivers through our doors, we vow to recognize their inherent strengths and help them overcome the challenges they face.
We must now confront the systems we have created that yield the inequality we are seeing — from education to child welfare; from health care to our justice system; from housing to the economy. We must talk about the disparities that children of color face: being removed from their families and placed into foster care at a disproportionate rate; being sent to prison at higher rates; unequal access to quality education that leaves too many children behind; inequities in housing, health care, employment; fear of the very people authorized to protect them.
If we don’t actively address a system with a history of injustices, we perpetuate its wrongs.
Therefore, in 2020 and 2021, the GBA CAPC Coalition will work to examine and reform the systems that have oppressed Black and Brown individuals in our country and in our community.
Toward this end, we are embarking on a year-long project to engage stakeholders in a conversation about disproportionality in child abuse reporting and the system’s response to a report.
In addition, as individuals and within our home agencies, here are some of the concrete actions that we will take:
Ask ourselves and each other difficult questions about race and equality.
Learn about race, racism, and racial oppression in our country, and have discussions about these issues with the young people in our lives.
Listen to the voices of people with direct and diverse experiences.
Change the behaviors in ourselves, our agencies, and society that cause harm and perpetuate racism.
Together, we must bridge this untenable divide by confronting racism and racial disparities. We continue to be humbled and grateful for the work you all are doing to support each other and those you serve during this incredibly challenging time. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond.