A Closer Examination of Family Group Decision Making in
This Proclamation has had a devastating effect in Ethiopia.80
Many in-country NGOs have been forced to abandon or severely
limit their work, while others have closed due to the major impact of
the funding restrictions.81 Accordingly, the extended family network
has come to play an even stronger role in Ethiopia. Orphans and
other vulnerable children may be unable to turn to NGOs and other
child welfare organizations for support,82 reaffirming the extended
family role and community support for these children as a cultural
duty. This view of a crisis-led system of kinship care is quite
different from the evolution of the child welfare system in the United
III. The Emergence and Role of Kinship Care in the U.S.
In contrast to Ethiopia’s focus on the extended family and
clan as a whole, in Western and mainstream American judicial
traditions child welfare laws and practices are based on the major
social unit of the individual.83 In this sense, the placement of a child
is not necessarily a reflection of the needs of the community, but
rather the individual needs of the child. This theme can be traced
back to the origins of our child welfare system, premised on the
substitution of inadequate care.84 In the U.S., kinship care did not
partly because a large proportion of the population lacks disposable income to
make donations to charities”).
80 STIFLING HUMAN RIGHTS WORK, supra note 74, at 12.
81 Id.; see also NGO LAW MONITOR: ETHIOPIA, supra note 41, at 9 (citing headlines
such as, “German NGO Pulls out of Ethiopia” (Nov. 2012), “Amnesty International
Report Highlights Charities and Societies Proclamation’s Stranglehold on NGOs”
82 See NGO LAW MONITOR: ETHIOPIA, supra note 41, at 2 (discussing the
restrictions on NGO resources, potentially forcing the closures of many
organizations involved in child welfare work).
83 JESSICA LEE & LARRY LEE, THE COAL. FOR ASIAN AM. CHILDREN & FAMILIES,
CROSSING THE DIVIDE: ASIAN AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THE CHILD WELFARE
SYSTEM 1, 3 (2001), www.cacf.org/documents/Crossing_the_Divide.pdf.
84 See generally Brenda G. McGowan, Historical Evolution of Child Welfare
Services, in CHILD WELFARE FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: A HANDBOOK OF