Twitter: @RJTF-Equity


The CPCS CAFL Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF) is a group of private attorneys and staff members working with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) to address the systemic racism our clients face every day in the child welfare/family regulation system. The CAFL RJTF began this journey in the fall of 2020 to stand united against an oppressive system in our fight against racism. The task force will:

  1. Identify anti-racist advocacy objectives and strategies and work with others to implement those strategies;
  2. Consider how to support CAFL private attorneys and staff seeking fairer treatment of and better outcomes for their clients of color in individual cases; and
  3. Consider what we should do on a systemic front to improve the treatment of and outcomes for clients of color.


Message from the CAFL Racial Justice Task Force

The CAFL Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF) had an amazing year, working in community with everyone who does care and protection work to address the current racial inequities embedded in the family regulation system. Please join us as we gather together for our next CAFL RJTF Quarterly Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 5:30-7:00PM. We’re thrilled to announce that Dr. Alan Detlaff will be joining us for the meeting.

Dr. Detlaff is the Dean at the Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston. Prior to entering academia, Dean Dettlaff worked in the child welfare system as a caseworker and an administrator, primarily engaging in investigations of maltreatment. Dr. Dettlaff is also affiliated with the upEND Movement, a collaborative movement that seeks to abolish the existing child welfare system, which is built on a model of surveillance and separation and more accurately described as a family policing system.

For anyone who isn’t currently on the CAFL RJTF but is thinking of joining and would like to hear more about what the RJTF is doing, the Quarterly Meeting is open to anyone. Please register in advance for the meeting to access the Zoom link as there are only 100 spots. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone.  Register in advance here.



CAFL RJTF has the following five subcommittees:

Community Connections Subcommittee:
Community Connections subcommittee will develop community groups which center the voices of those impacted by DCF, and communicate with community organizations, initiatives and agencies in the local and national child protective community and the movements to change child protection.  We will develop a Know Your Rights training and/or pamphlet.  We will address mandated reporting in MA and advocate for mandated supporting of families in distress.
Anna Kelly,

Training and Development Subcommittee:
Explore creating training material in conjunction with training department, motions and other relevant material concerning racial justice.  Organize and catalog relevant materials from other organizations.  This subcommittee could have an Educational Advocacy component that specifically addresses issues within the educational system)
Deb Freitas,
Cris Freitas,

Communications Subcommittee:
Explore connecting all members of the steering group, the larger volunteer group and the division. This subcommittee could also ensure social media presence and help to connect relevant committees/the group.
Daniel Mahoney,
Nancy Harmon,

Research and Analysis Subcommittee

Explore collecting, creating, and analyzing data from relevant sources to inform the work of the committee and track results.  Legislative suggestions for change. This subcommittee could work with a sociology, public health, and/or statistical analysis graduate programs to ensure a steady pool of academics able to assist in the creation and ongoing analysis of data.. This committee could also help boost the number of experts that can testify about racism, racial disparities, racial identity, etc; explore, and identify and address CPCS policies/practices that adversely impact clients in achieving racial justice: ie: immediate access to SWs, not having cases which require interpreters called last regardless of when client arrives at court, languages that materials are offered, lack of resources necessary to address court concerns, etc.
Elsie Alvarenga-Rosa,

CAFL United Field Work Support Subcommittee:
Explore providing opportunities for individuals within the staff offices and panels of the Division to address concerns related to racial issues both within the organization and externally.  Work to develop and institute specific litigation techniques to address race based issues on child protective cases.
Cris Freitas,
Deb Freitas,

Meeting dates

The CAFL RJTF holds meetings on a regular schedule. Additionally, each subcommittee holds regularly scheduled subcommittee meetings, as follows:

Community Connections Subcommittee: 2nd and fourth Wednesday of the month

Training and Development Subcommittee: First Friday of the month at 1 p.m.

Communications Subcommittee: The second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m.

Research and Analysis Subcommittee: Every third Tuesday at 1 p.m.

CAFL United Field Work Support Subcommittee: First Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m.

These meeting dates are subject to change. Email the contact person for each subcommittee for the next meeting date.


More Resources:

CAFL Racial Equity and Justice Resources

Contact information

Twitter: @RJTF-Equity

CAFL RJTF Steering Committee:

Daniel Mahoney   |

Cristina Freitas   |

Debbie Freitas   |

Anna Kelly   |

Elsie Alvarenga-Rosa   |

Juliette Willoughby   |

Sherrie Niles   |

Preditta Cedeno   |

Rebecca Amdemariam   |

Periangilly Beltré   |