RELEASED NOVEMBER 2, 2018 (SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ORDERING)
MAJOR MEDIA COVERAGE: See my article in the Atlantic: “After the Hotline Call” (January 26, 2019)(about child abuse reporting, child abuse pediatrics, investigations and registers), and the November issue of Cato Unbound includes a long discussion of another issue in the book: safety plans that operate as shadow removals of children without due process.
NEWS AND REVIEWS:
I just got a powerful review posted in ParentRights Foundation.Org’s newsletter. I’m glad folks are calling it a page turner! Thank you Michael Ramey! http://parentalrightsfoundation.org/review-Redleaf/
Thank you too to Naomi Riley for a powerful review in the Washington Examiner on February 1, 2019. called “Cruelty in the name of child welfare.” While she highlights and gives a cast I didn’t intend to my obversation about how racial disparities in the system are used to justify cruelty to all, I also think her piece gives us helpful ground for building some consensus on issues that can be supported across the political spectrum.
The Chicago Bar Record (page 54) has a legal review of the book, discussing some of the legal casesfrom the book, including Dupuy.
The book also has ten terrific Amazon reviews (and a five star rating).
RECENT BOOK EVENTS:
April was busy! I spoke on a panel at the American Enterprise Institute on the issue of recruiting child protection caseworkers—an endemic problem that my book discusses in some respects as it highlights the effects of inadequate attention to the true needs of the workforce in creating a better, fairer child welfare system. April 8 at noon (Washington DC).
I led two panels at the ABA National Alliance for Parent Representation Conference on April 11 and 12.
On June 1 there will be a panel about my book at the Law and Society Conference in Washington DC.
And on June 26 I am speaking about my book in Cheyenne Wyoming at the statewide child and family justice conference.
Events since January 1 include:
March 25 at 57th Street Bookstore at 6:00 pm. on the Fresh Ayers series with Bernardine Dohrn (hosted by Bill Ayers) and March 26 at City Lit Bookstore (Logan Square at 6:30).
WSTHZ in Oak Park River Forest (January 10), KAM Synagogue (Jan. 12) and New York City (New School, Jan. 22, 2019 and St. Francis College, January 29.
OTHER ARTICLES AND MEDIA ABOUT THE BOOK: I wrote an article about the book in the Wednesday Journal (Oak Park newpaper), Jan. 16, 2019.
Watch my new video reel with Dr. Anna Yusim, as part of her “Fulfilled Series”, to find out more about my book!
They Took the Kids Last Night:
How the Child Protection System Puts Families at Risk by Diane L. Redleaf
How come the seemingly helpful words "Child Protective Services" cause so many of us to flinch? Because we've all heard of good families torn apart by some officious bureaucrat. Here are the stories in all their outrage, by someone who has done more than anyone to fight the system. Diane Redleaf is a national hero.
OR USE THE FORM BELOW TO REQUEST A 20% AUTHOR'S DISCOUNT COUPON AND A CLASSROOM OR BOOK GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE
Today’s “see something, say something” legal culture has led to wrongful prosecution of parents, while many actual cases of child abuse continue to go unreported.
NOVEMBER 2, 2018
AVAILABLE AND #1 RATED IN CHILD ADVOCACY FAMILY LAW CATEGORY ON AMAZON!
$48.00 (20% OFF DISCOUNT COUPON AVAILABLE FROM AUTHOR--USE CONTACT FORM BELOW)
eBook Available from ABC-CLIO
This account of six families whose children were wrongly seized by child protection services vividly illustrates the constitutional balancing act where medicine, family interests, and child safety can clash.
They Took the Kids Last Night shows a rarely exposed side of America’s contemporary struggle to address child abuse, telling the stories of loving families who were almost destroyed by false allegations—readily accepted by caseworkers, doctors, the media, and, too often, the courts.
Each of the six wrongly accused families profiled in this book faced an epic and life-changing battle when child protection caseworkers came to their homes to take their kids. In each case, a child had an injury whose cause was unknown; it could have been due to an accident, a medical condition, or abuse. Each of the families ultimately exonerated itself and restored its family life, but still bears scars from the experience that will never heal. The book tells why and how the child protection system failed these families. It also examines the larger flaws in our country’s child protection safety net that is supposed to sort out the innocent from the guilty in order to protect children.
Illustrates how the mantra "best interests of the child" masks errors, assumptions, and stereotypes that hide the real harm child protection policies are doing to children and families
Reveals how families are wrongly separated when overworked and underskilled caseworkers jump to conclusions of guilt, ignoring evidence of innocence
Focuses on the child protection system from the moment of intervention—starting with the child abuse hotline call that targets a specific child as a victim and his or her parents as suspects
Highlights the many decision points, attitudes, policies, and practices that operate to make even innocent parents vulnerable to having their children taken from them
Explains why basic due process principles ordered by federal and state courts would go a long way to help families, but cautions that just results depend on effective family defense counsel.
WHAT EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
Pioneering family defender Diane Redleaf tells gripping stories of clients caught up in the nightmare of America’s child welfare system—a system that unjustly tears families apart based on flawed evidence, race, class, and gender biases, and wrongheaded policies. Her spotlight on parents wrongfully accused of harming their children reveals a critical aspect of the trauma caused by an approach to child welfare centered on investigating parents rather than supporting families. They Took the Kids Last Night is a shocking exposé of the inner workings of a damaging system and an urgent call for change.
--Prof. Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss Professor of Law and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania; Author, Shattered Bonds: the Color of Child Welfare
This is the child welfare system as it really works – not the Disney version presented by the people who run it. These are frontline dispatches from someone who has devoted her professional life to helping vulnerable children and families.
At one point in her gripping, urgently-needed book, Diane Redleaf talks about how, in one case, “We had moved from Kafka’s absurd and inaccessible justice, to Orwell’s oppressive State surveillance and doublespeak, to Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil in quick succession.” As the book makes clear, that is, in fact, an apt description of the entire child welfare system – a system that often winds up destroying children in the name of saving them.
As you read about the enormous harm done to children and families in these cases, remember, as Redleaf often reminds us, these families actually suffered less than most. And this book reminds us of something else: Though the system is most likely to attack those who are poor and nonwhite, it can come after anyone. The people who “took the kids last night” could be back for yours tomorrow.
--RICHARD WEXLER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COALITION FOR CHILD PROTECTION REFORM AND AUTHOR OF WOUNDED INNOCENTS: THE REAL VICTIMS OF THE WAR AGAINST CHILD ABUSE
The United States practices child welfare like no other country in the world. In the name of child protection, it removes children from their families, temporarily and permanently, more than anywhere else on earth. Diane Redleaf, a pioneer defender of parents and families, reveals the many flaws in our system and makes important suggestions for change. Those who care about families and children should read this important book and heed her sensible proposals for change.
--PROF. MARTIN GUGGENHEIM, FIORELLO LAGUARDIA PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL LAW, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
Diane L. Redleaf is legal director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, where she heads the Redleaf Family Advocacy Institute and cochairs United Family Advocates, a national bipartisan child protection policy advocacy network. Redleaf became a partner at Lehrer and Redleaf in 1996, and in 2005 she founded the legal advocacy program at the Family Defense Center in Chicago, of which she was director until 2017. Redleaf has taught at the University of Chicago Law School and Loyola Law School and won several awards, including the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women's Founder's Award and the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Carleton College.
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