Failure to Protect
homelogan marrcaseworker fileschild policydiscussion

participants: failure to protect?  a national dialogue
Co-produced with Fred Friendly Seminars, with primary editorial consultation provided by the Institute for Child and Family Policy at Columbia University



The Moderator

» John Hockenberry

John Hockenberry is a correspondent for Dateline NBC. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work in broadcast journalism, including an Emmy and two Peabody Awards. Previously, Hockenberry served as a correspondent for the ABC newsmagazine Day One, and as a reporter, correspondent, and host of several programs on National Public Radio. He is the author of Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence, his memoir of life as a foreign correspondent. In 1996, he performed "Spokeman," the one-man, off-Broadway show, based on his book. He has also written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, I.D. Magazine, The Columbia Journalism Review, and The Washington Post. Hockenberry moderated the Fred Friendly Seminar Who Cares: Chronic Illness in America and Making Better Babies in the Our Genes/Our Choices series.

THE PANELISTS

» Barbara Alexander

Barbara Alexander is the executive director of the First Coast Family Center in Florida. She has more than 20 years of experience in social services, including working for the Florida Department of Children and Families System (DCFS), first as an investigator, then as a supervisor in the child abuse investigations unit. Before working at Florida DCFS, Alexander was a child abuse investigator in Tennessee.

» Eloise Anderson

Eloise Anderson is the director of the Program for the American Family at the Claremont Institute. She began her career as a social worker in Toledo, Ohio, in the 1960s. Anderson later moved to Wisconsin, where in 1988 she was appointed to the Department of Health and Social Services by then-Governor Tommy Thompson, as administrator of the Division of Community Services. During her tenure there she became one of the architects of Wisconsin's welfare reform programs, which are widely viewed as models for much of the federal welfare reform legislation of the mid-1990s. In 1992, Anderson was appointed by then-Governor Pete Wilson as the director of California's Department of Social Services.

» Kathleen Blatz

Kathleen Blatz has served as the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court since January 1998. Justice Blatz has a master's degree in social work as well as a law degree. She served eight terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she worked extensively on children's issues, especially child protection-related issues. While serving in the legislature, Blatz worked as an attorney, prosecuting child protection cases in the county attorney's office and also served as a family court judge, overseeing juvenile court cases -- including many child protection cases -- before becoming chief justice.

» Rose Garland

Rose Garland is a former foster child and works as a sculptor, painter, and graphic designer. She finished an undergraduate degree in English literature at the University of Michigan, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nonprofit management. She hopes to one day start an organization that helps foster youth come out of the system better prepared for life and having a sense of community.

» Richard Gelles

Richard Gelles is the interim dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania. Recognized nationally and internationally as one of the leading theorists and researchers in the study of family violence, Gelles is the author or co-author of 23 books and more than 100 articles, chapters, and papers on the subject of family violence. His book Behind Closed Doors (1980) established family violence as a contemporary social problem and continued to help frame the debate and research agenda in that area for the next decade.

» Sandra Jimenez

Sandra Jimenez is the head of advocacy for New York City's Department of Homeless Services. She is also the co-chair of the Parents Advisory Workgroup for New York's Administration for Children's Services, working directly with birth parents whose children have been removed by the state.

» Trevor John

Trevor John has been a child protective specialist for the New York City Administration for Children's Services for five years. His first three years were spent investigating sex abuse cases for the child protective unit. For the last two years he has been doing "family preservation" work with families to try to keep their children out of the system.

» Marcia Robinson Lowry

Marcia Robinson Lowry is the executive director of Children's Rights Inc. She is one of the most vocal advocates in the country for children's rights. Lowry rose to national prominence by filing the famous "Wilder" case, which brought nationwide attention to failures in the foster care system and raised serious doubts about the ability of badly managed child welfare bureaucracies to look after the well-being of children.

» Cynthia McFadden

Cynthia McFadden is senior legal correspondent for ABC News and has served as a substitute anchor on a number of ABC News programs. She joined ABC in 1994 and her reports for the network have also appeared on PrimeTime Live, 20/20, World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America. McFadden was previously an anchor and senior producer at the Courtroom Television Network, where she anchored more than 200 trials. From 1985 to 1991, McFadden was a producer and then executive producer of Fred Friendly's Media and Society Seminars and more than 30 of her programs were broadcast on PBS. She holds a law degree from Columbia University.

» George Miller

George Miller is a United States Representative from California's 7th District, in San Francisco's East Bay area. In January 2001, Congressman Miller was elected by the Democratic Caucus to serve as the ranking Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, a committee on which he has served since he first came to Congress. Miller was the founding chairman of the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families from 1983 through 1991. Miller played a major role in authoring the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act in 1980.

» Ronald Richter

Ronald Richter is the deputy attorney-in-charge at the Legal Aid Society of New York's juvenile rights division. Richter came to Legal Aid as a staff attorney 10 years ago. Before working at Legal Aid, he represented grandparents who became foster parents.

» Dorothy Roberts

Dorothy Roberts teaches at Northwestern University's law school, where she specializes in family law. Roberts is a frequent speaker and prolific scholar on issues related to race, gender, and the law, and has published more than 30 articles in law reviews and books. She is the author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare.

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