Finally, an honest look at not only our state’s anything-but-successful child welfare system, but at the Chicago Tribune’s biased, inflammatory coverage of its most tragic cases (“The Children’s Crusade,” March 24, 1995). Richard Wexler provided far more insight in his one article than the Tribune did in over a year of stories. (Don’t even get me started on Bob Greene!)
As a former child welfare professional, it was almost impossible to balance the “best interest of the child” with the demands of an angry, punitive media and public. Having left the field to pursue my master’s degree in social work, it is doubtful that I will return. It is a most important job that garners very little, if any, respect and few rewards. One consequence Mr. Wexler failed to identify is the loss of many skilled, dedicated social workers who are no longer willing to risk their careers doing this type of work. It is a shame because the children and the families deserve much more.
Tracey A. Gee