Challenges in Coordinating Services
FAILURE TO PROTECT? A NATIONAL DIALOGUE
Begin this week’s lesson by watching Failure to Protect, a PBS documentary about a real case in Maine. You can watch the documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT0p1KgJ7rE
Next, read the transcript from the follow-up to this video – Failure to Protect: A National Dialogue. The transcript and information about the panel can be found here: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/fostercare/symposium/
You will want to also click on the link to see the participants’ bios so you understand who is taking part in this discussion and what their orientations are. Then, answer each of the following questions. I have broken the questions into sections for you.
A CASE BEGINS
• In the scenario posed Ms. McFadden calls child protective services when she realizes that the children are unattended all night, do you think this is realistic? Why or why not? Do you think this threshold would be different if Ms. McFadden saw the children being injured in some way?
• What do you think about Trevor John’s tactics for gaining entry into the Smith home?
• Sandra Jimenez discusses compelling reasons why individuals would allow a CPS worker to readily talk to their children. What are those reasons? Does this seem fair? Why or why not?
• What concerns do you have with the qualifications of decision-makers in child protective services?
• Discuss the conflicting positions of the agency in trying to ensure the safety and maximizing the welfare of children simultaneously.
• What does Dean Gelles believe regarding the impact of domestic violence on this family? What overall challenge does this present to those making decisions in child welfare?
• How does removal impact the children?
• What are some of the challenges that are typically found in foster homes?
• What are some of the issues the parents face when trying to access services?
• How does the media impact child welfare cases?
• Comment on the statement, “There will always be children who die in the custody of the state.”
• What are the goals of the Adoption and Safe Families Act?
• What challenges are there in permanency planning for Brittany and Ben?
• What are the pros and cons of speeding up time lines for terminating parental rights?
• What role does poverty play in child welfare involvement?
What was most surprising to you about this show? Has your understanding of the child welfare system been impacted? If so, in what way