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Ada Calhoun's Blog

Speaking to child welfare experts around the country in the course of reporting, I’ve become... more »
posted 06/25/15

Ada Calhoun's Work

As journalist Ada Calhoun "started casting around for potential good news in the child welfare world," she began delving into the country's "baby courts," where judges take a far more active role in bringing families back together.

Proponents of baby courts argue that the traditional system is in crisis. They say the law is in some ways too quick to intervene with parents accused of neglect and abuse. Yet at the same time, they say, the legal system gives families too little attention when it comes to needed services.

One study found that the vast majority of stories we hear about child welfare are “horror stories” about evil parents doing ghastly things. And yet, the vast majority of child welfare cases stem from neglect, not abuse. Common causes of parental neglect include drug abuse and mental illness.