Academic journal article et Cetera

Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk

Academic journal article et Cetera

Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk

Article excerpt

Marc Parent. Turning Stones: My Days and Nights With Children at Risk. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1996. Marc Parent worked for New York City's Emergency Children's Services from 1986-91. His job was to respond to reports of suspected child abuse and make night visits to determine whether or not to remove a child at-risk and arrange for temporary foster care. The families he visited suffered with drug problems, mental illness, and alcohol abuse. Their living conditions ranged from bleak to squalid.

Parent (what an apropos name) relates shattering anecdotes: an eight-year-old holds a younger brother at knife point; three small children watch their older sister jump out of a sixth-floor window at their mother's command; a young girl with venereal disease insists she has not been sexually abused, etc. He and his colleagues saved many youngsters but they were not always successful. After Parent has been three years on the job, a little boy, who Parent and his partner saw and chose not to remove from his home, dies of malnutrition. Parent and his colleague are officially exonerated, but not from despair. He is comforted by recalling a nun who turned over a stone wherever she went saying "I turn a stone ... so that the place is different ... because I have been there. …

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