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Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk

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Why does an infant die of malnutrition? Why does an eight-year-old hold a knife to his brother's throat? Or a mother push her cherished daughter twenty-three floors to her death? Marc Parent, a city caseworker, searched the streets--and his heart--for the answers, and shares them in this powerful, vivid, beautifully written book. WITH A NEW AFTERWORD BY THE AUTHOR Why does an infant die of malnutrition? Why does an eight-year-old hold a knife to his brother's throat? Or a mother push her cherished daughter twenty-three floors to her death? Marc Parent, a city caseworker, searched the streets--and his heart--for the answers, and shares them in this powerful, vivid, beautifully written book. WITH A NEW AFTERWORD BY THE AUTHOR


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Why does an infant die of malnutrition? Why does an eight-year-old hold a knife to his brother's throat? Or a mother push her cherished daughter twenty-three floors to her death? Marc Parent, a city caseworker, searched the streets--and his heart--for the answers, and shares them in this powerful, vivid, beautifully written book. WITH A NEW AFTERWORD BY THE AUTHOR Why does an infant die of malnutrition? Why does an eight-year-old hold a knife to his brother's throat? Or a mother push her cherished daughter twenty-three floors to her death? Marc Parent, a city caseworker, searched the streets--and his heart--for the answers, and shares them in this powerful, vivid, beautifully written book. WITH A NEW AFTERWORD BY THE AUTHOR

30 review for Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Children are not stone. Children have deep flowing roots grounded in complex ecological structures. When working with children involved in CPS there needs to be emphasis on the importance of valuing both the individual as well as the system in which leads to structural degradation and subsequent social patterns within groups. While a child’s life can ultimately be affected by the decision of an ECS worker, individual problems are the consequence of the societal problems at large. Structural barr Children are not stone. Children have deep flowing roots grounded in complex ecological structures. When working with children involved in CPS there needs to be emphasis on the importance of valuing both the individual as well as the system in which leads to structural degradation and subsequent social patterns within groups. While a child’s life can ultimately be affected by the decision of an ECS worker, individual problems are the consequence of the societal problems at large. Structural barriers such as access to health care facilities, lack of available mental health services, and severe economic poverty are what can often lead parents to patterns of abuse and neglect. One worker’s decision in the course of a night cannot undo the years of systematic oppression that ultimately influences the choices of the neglectful and abusing parent. Even when children are removed from their homes this does not make them any less bound by their roots. It is naïve to believe that removing a child from his/her home has saved a life. Indeed in a sense a life has been removed from immediate harm; however, until the structural barriers affecting those living in poverty can be tore down, the life is only temporarily out of harm’s way. Child saving cannot be as simple as turning a stone and walking away. Cycles of poverty and violence often keep those involved in CPS as children involved throughout adulthood as well. Marc Parent fails to acknowledge any of this in his text.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Breanna Wichmann

    I wish I could tell you this book was well written. I wish I could tell you that the author put more than a high school freshman level of depth to his writing. I wish I could, but I can't, so here I am, and here you are. Turning Stones is 'supposedly' a personal narrative about a Wisconsin man living in New York while working for Emergency Child Services. In reality, it's a classist white dude giving us his inner dialogue about how much he dislikes poor people and chronicles every single time he I wish I could tell you this book was well written. I wish I could tell you that the author put more than a high school freshman level of depth to his writing. I wish I could, but I can't, so here I am, and here you are. Turning Stones is 'supposedly' a personal narrative about a Wisconsin man living in New York while working for Emergency Child Services. In reality, it's a classist white dude giving us his inner dialogue about how much he dislikes poor people and chronicles every single time he talked to a person of color. I was hoping there would be some internal climax in the stories; something showing us how he had changed over the years. Nope, he talks about a time he watched a homeless man break a wine bottle in the subway and than blabs ON and ON about how that represents how chaotic his job is. Are you f****g kidding me? All of his stories paint himself as a 'too cool' case worker who keeps it calm while everyone else panics in his absence. Any mention of his female coworkers go into inappropriate detail about their bodies or uninteresting/weirdly specific qualities about them that do nothing to further the plot. Any time he depicts a black person they either rap or he'll detail us on "how tight" their bodies were. For example, one way he describes his COLLEAGUE, "She was a workout queen whose killer body had gotten us out of more than a few tight jams with pissed off homeboys. Her hard curves and tight skirts afforded us safe passage through many dark stairways and midnight halls, and she knew it". This man is the 90's version of an incel and I rolled my eyes more times than I can count. The language he uses surrounding clients is disrespectful and inexcusable when working with vulnerable populations (or with anyone, really). For example, "She had the bottom of a junkie hooker" when referencing an 8-year-old girl who had been repeatedly raped. The man clearly has a hard on for power, as he references the special privileges he has with his job so many times I think he honest to god thought he ran New York with his cheap ECS badge. "We breezed through the lobby, leaving the front desk guys with their jaws bouncing on the floor". The man feels entitled to bemoan the actions of members of a community he transplanted himself into, while never referencing ways in which he attempted to understand the racial implications of what he was witnessing. He is narcissistic, patronizing, and a poor excuse for a case worker. I hope to god that Parent hangs his head in shame at this abysmal display of advocacy, narration, and basic human decency. The writing is some of the worst garbage I have read in years and I honestly think the coworkers he used in his stories should get reparations for such a pathetic homage to their work. Don't read unless you want to see how NOT to be a case worker.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Colin Miller

    In today’s world of having an Internet site and a “Law & Order” for every criminal kink, child abuse may not be the great dark taboo that it used to be, but Turning Stones still gives a city caseworker’s insight to the pains of this everyday reality. For a little over four years, Marc Parent was on the front lines at New York’s Emergency Children’s Services, making the call as to whether or not children should be taken from their living situations. Turning Stones chronicles seven of those cases In today’s world of having an Internet site and a “Law & Order” for every criminal kink, child abuse may not be the great dark taboo that it used to be, but Turning Stones still gives a city caseworker’s insight to the pains of this everyday reality. For a little over four years, Marc Parent was on the front lines at New York’s Emergency Children’s Services, making the call as to whether or not children should be taken from their living situations. Turning Stones chronicles seven of those cases in detail. Whether it’s an eight-year-old boy getting ready to slit his two-year-old brother’s throat, or a mother chucking her kids out of the window of her 23rd floor apartment, Parent describes the cases with lucid and heartfelt detail—realizing that there are no clear-cut villains and that hatred still doesn’t bring around a solution—but not letting anyone off the hook, not even himself. The writing isn’t all that great. There are too many ALL CAPS moments, an overuse of italics, dashes and ellipses, but the subject matter is the hook and Parent still has right intuition at the right time to make the book work in his hands. Additionally, the title chapter works well to close the Turning Stones with a glimmer of hope as to how and why people still strive amidst the relentlessness of this line of work. Three stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    I expected to dislike this book, but I loved it. The memoir of an Emergency Children's Services caseworker in NYC, the author serves up only the most wrenching, hair-raising and generally horrifying stories from his four and a half years at that job. He writes really beautifully and compassionately about every case, about himself, his colleagues, and about his roommate, a man being eaten by piranhas. (Read it. All will be explained.) I expected to dislike this book, but I loved it. The memoir of an Emergency Children's Services caseworker in NYC, the author serves up only the most wrenching, hair-raising and generally horrifying stories from his four and a half years at that job. He writes really beautifully and compassionately about every case, about himself, his colleagues, and about his roommate, a man being eaten by piranhas. (Read it. All will be explained.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Shuster

    Incredible look at the day to day (or in this case the night to night) life of a child welfare caseworker. As a school social worker, it offered great perspective as to what goes on in the other 16 hours of the day that kids are not in the care of a school. This book offers a great reinforcement of the necessary macro level change of how we support children in families in our communities through the lens of micro level work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I think this book is valuable for building empathy for what kids in the foster care system experience, and for showing the difficult circumstances under which investigative workers work (e.g., a two-week training period, even for those with no relevant experience and unrelated fields of study; large caseloads and limited resources). It is also interesting to consider that Parent never learns the outcomes of any children whose cases he investigates (other than those whose cases are reported in th I think this book is valuable for building empathy for what kids in the foster care system experience, and for showing the difficult circumstances under which investigative workers work (e.g., a two-week training period, even for those with no relevant experience and unrelated fields of study; large caseloads and limited resources). It is also interesting to consider that Parent never learns the outcomes of any children whose cases he investigates (other than those whose cases are reported in the media, presumably). I would think this would be a very difficult aspect of the job, but Parent remarks on it only briefly at the end of the book. Unfortunately, the writing style is over the top. For example: "...Ms. Jacobs was sweating a kiddie pool in her bed. She scratched with animal intensity throughout he night, creating a racket like a collision in slow motion--like the sound of fire (p. 90)." The same woman later "[cried] like a stifled popgun... (p. 94)," and she "worked like a sled husky (p. 96)." Also, she was "consumed by a bullfight raging in her head (p. 96)." In another scene, "[Children] were stacking some dirty-looking hollow plastic blocks covered with the spit and tears of a thousand sick children (p. 101)." I suppose Parent is trying to be literary, but these images often don't ring true or are so overwrought as to be distracting. Parent spends a lot of time scared. For example, in one chapter, he is so scared he could feel "...the hairs on the back of my neck slowly rotating in their follicles... (p. 109)." In another chapter, he writes: "I don't have to tell you we were scared--[But rest assured, he does anyway.]--as many times as we'd been in bad waters and we were still scared (p. 305)." Toward the end of the book, he develops an oddly informal and grammatically incorrect style. "Me and a few of his friends sat in a room playing cards... (p. 328)." Is this intended to show how he now fits in with the tough New Yorkers he works with? Parent comes to several conclusions I'm not sure I agree with. For example, in one chapter, he describes a woman who forces two of her children out of their apartment window to their deaths, in a delusional effort to save them from a lifetime of suffering. Parent observes that "we all hold, in our minds, the ability to create images that would break us in half (p. 109)." Now, I would agree that everyone has an ability to behave cruelly, especially under duress, but I am not sure that any one of us could snap into delusion at a moment's notice. Also, after describing an incident in which he roughly handled a child who resisted a removal, he writes, "The injustices we commit against others always end up falling harder on us that the ones we've hurt (p.160)." This statement is especially ironic in a book about parents who maltreat their children. Isn't this the classic thing parents say when spanking their child (i.e., this hurts me more than it hurts you)? Shouldn't children be considered inherently more vulnerable than adults? Toward the end of the book, Parent struggles to understand how he could have failed to remove a baby from his home, when the baby dies a few days later of starvation. He initially torments himself that perhaps he felt this poor family was not as deserving of his attention as a better-off family would be. Later he has the epiphany that he had "lost perspective on the power of the moment...to effect change (p. 350)." He decides that his inaction was due to a feeling of futility to help a family whose problems were so deep, but that making even a small change should be satisfying. It is "arrogant and naive" to aim to solve such deep problems; instead, one should aim for the satisfaction of making a small difference. Parent ends the book by describing a child, recently removed from his family, who experiences "joy" after receiving some new clothes while waiting for a foster placement. Parent says he "knew he was one of the lucky ones because for just a moment, I had seen it for what it was (p. 358)." I am not quite sure what he means here. Seen *what* for what it was? Lucky for witnessing some tiny, positive thing in a sea of problems? In the epilogue, Parent concludes that workers must be kept empowered in order to "keep them from losing track of the vital importance of their work (p. 361)." Later, in the afterword, the only solution he provides is that workers need to "live in the moment" and maintain a mindset that allows them to "continue to fight the battle" on behalf of children. While Parent acknowledges problems in the system, he ultimately holds individual workers responsible for letting children slip through their fingers. However, I think that while finding ways to workers motivated is important, workers cannot be successful if the broader child welfare system does not provide them with sufficient resources and support.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina Rutter

    If you have ever wondered what it's like to work for child protective services this book gives you a pretty good idea. marc Parent tells us about a handful of the thousands of cases he has encountered in this book. He also tells us of the dangers involved in the in this line of work. This is not a fact and statistics book but a memoir about Marc's time working in the mean streets of New York to help as many children as he can. What drives mothers to starve their children, believe God is telling t If you have ever wondered what it's like to work for child protective services this book gives you a pretty good idea. marc Parent tells us about a handful of the thousands of cases he has encountered in this book. He also tells us of the dangers involved in the in this line of work. This is not a fact and statistics book but a memoir about Marc's time working in the mean streets of New York to help as many children as he can. What drives mothers to starve their children, believe God is telling them to kill their children, and leave young children alone. This book wont answer that question, but it still has an important message.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This book is an account from a man who worked for CPS. It is heart wrenching and gives you a real understanding for the struggle the case managers go through when deciding when to remove and not to remove children from their families. What is best for the child? What is best for the family? What happens to the child after they are taken away? An excellent text. I couldn't put it down. This book is an account from a man who worked for CPS. It is heart wrenching and gives you a real understanding for the struggle the case managers go through when deciding when to remove and not to remove children from their families. What is best for the child? What is best for the family? What happens to the child after they are taken away? An excellent text. I couldn't put it down.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Rube

    Even for someone who works regularly with victims of all kinds of abuse, this book was incredibly shocking and unbelievably sad. Yet the stories are told in such a thought provoking, human light that it is hard not to empathize. Loved this book for its portrayal of human struggle and emotion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    I wasn’t sure I would finish this book when I started reading. There was a lot of narrative I felt was unnecessary. After I began skimming over the verbiage not relevant in my mind to the stories being told, I was able to appreciate the author’s effort to educate the public about children in need of protective services. It bothered me that we didn’t get to know the outcome of each encounter, but the author didn’t get closure either, so that wasn’t his fault. He wrapped up his 4 year stint as a c I wasn’t sure I would finish this book when I started reading. There was a lot of narrative I felt was unnecessary. After I began skimming over the verbiage not relevant in my mind to the stories being told, I was able to appreciate the author’s effort to educate the public about children in need of protective services. It bothered me that we didn’t get to know the outcome of each encounter, but the author didn’t get closure either, so that wasn’t his fault. He wrapped up his 4 year stint as a child protective worker in New York with an interesting explanation of the book’s title. I imagine things have not gotten much better for abused children since this book was published in 1996. The people who respond to their needs are heroes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    J.S. Mueller

    I picked this up as a reference. The time Marc Parent worked in Emergency Child Services in NYC coincides with the time my novel's protagonist would have been in foster care. Parent's tales are tragedies and horror stories. It was heart-wrenching to read, and the reader can only hope and pray that life turned out okay for the kids who survived these scenarios. Aside from the engrossing stories, Parent writes in a manner that is anything but dry. He knows the clever turn of a phrase, the witty si I picked this up as a reference. The time Marc Parent worked in Emergency Child Services in NYC coincides with the time my novel's protagonist would have been in foster care. Parent's tales are tragedies and horror stories. It was heart-wrenching to read, and the reader can only hope and pray that life turned out okay for the kids who survived these scenarios. Aside from the engrossing stories, Parent writes in a manner that is anything but dry. He knows the clever turn of a phrase, the witty simile, the apt metaphor. In other words, he can write. It was worth the time to read, even if I hadn't picked it up for research.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Pedigo

    Honestly, I did not expect this book to be so beautifully written. It is a tough read, don’t get me wrong. The content is heavy-hitting and some of it you don’t want to believe is real. That’s the odd intrigue though, it is real. Highly recommend this book for anyone who works with children and vulnerable populations. It will stick with you.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donia

    Such a real view of what social work is all about.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Studies of actual children that the author worked with as a social worker. Unforgettable.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    The writing in this book is so over the top that it makes me question how much of the book is based on what actually happened.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Virgo McKinley

    Child Development book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cory Sierra

    Raw sincere stories that will break your heart and have you questioning your own duty in society. A wonderful read for anyone looking into a career in social services

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mama

    Conservative Mama Notes Domestic violence, child abuse triggers Violence Profanity

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kora

    This book deals with a lot of trauma. It was a required reading in a social work class for me, but it's a little rough. Not only is it trauma without any positive (traumatic story, then how to improve) but it really gives the feeling of distrust and disappointment in the 'system'. Specifically, the agencies that are responsible for identifying and stopping child abuse. This book deals with a lot of trauma. It was a required reading in a social work class for me, but it's a little rough. Not only is it trauma without any positive (traumatic story, then how to improve) but it really gives the feeling of distrust and disappointment in the 'system'. Specifically, the agencies that are responsible for identifying and stopping child abuse.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Murphy

    Interesting topic but the writing was so poor that I couldn't finish the book. Interesting topic but the writing was so poor that I couldn't finish the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This book was a tough read, as some of the stories of abused children are really stomach-turning and difficult to read. At the same time, I think it's important to recognize how challenging life is for many children in our country, and how we have to work to address it. Although I admired a lot of the book, there was one thing that troubled me (and that I found magnified in a very negative critique of the book I found online). There was a strange element of stereotyping in this book. Although Par This book was a tough read, as some of the stories of abused children are really stomach-turning and difficult to read. At the same time, I think it's important to recognize how challenging life is for many children in our country, and how we have to work to address it. Although I admired a lot of the book, there was one thing that troubled me (and that I found magnified in a very negative critique of the book I found online). There was a strange element of stereotyping in this book. Although Parent presented most individual characters in fully-rounded ways, there was a lot of talk of run-down neighborhoods and drug dealers and violence lurking all the time. Parent definitely writes with an element of self-awareness of his outsider status, and definitely brings a lot of warmth to the descriptions of the children and even many of the parents, but I wondered how much of the general sense of "man -- this was the INNER CITY -- life is serious there" stems from reliance on stereotypes and how much is simply meant to be unreal exaggeration of his own fears and magnification of the (undoubtedly real) decay he was witnessing. I know NYC in the late 80s had many, many problems -- but I much preferred Parent's writing about actual people and found his general treatment of the issues of inner-city life less realistic than the writing in Random Family or American Dream, two truly excellent books about the challenges of late-20th-century urban living.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Marc Parent recounts his experiences during the four years he worked for New York City's Department of Emergency Children's Services. ECS was respon¬sible for children in all five boroughs of New York during nights and weekends when other social service agencies were closed. Just out of college, his job was to go anywhere in the city to respond to reports of trouble in which children might be involved, to assess the situation and report on it to a follow up agency, and to remove the children to Marc Parent recounts his experiences during the four years he worked for New York City's Department of Emergency Children's Services. ECS was respon¬sible for children in all five boroughs of New York during nights and weekends when other social service agencies were closed. Just out of college, his job was to go anywhere in the city to respond to reports of trouble in which children might be involved, to assess the situation and report on it to a follow up agency, and to remove the children to emergency foster care if necessary. He tells these stories in readable, first person accounts, and we are involved right along with him. The situations aren't pretty they include sexual abuse, mental problems, and accidental death but they are extremely well written. When a child dies and Parent goes into a deep depres¬sion because he feels responsible, we suffer right along with him. The book ends on an inspirational note as he recalls a story told him by a nun who was his seventh grade teacher, a story that also gives the book its title. With a new outlook, and more understanding of his motivation, he is able to return to his job and be effective again. Parent points out that cases like these don't just happen in the big city, but are all around us.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Marc Parent tells an honest, heartfelt account of the children and parents (usually mothers) he met while working with NYC's Emergency Children's Services. An idealist, Marc fought hard for every family he met, and writes their stories with reverence and poise, never accusatory to the parents who failed or the system that was disorganized and unsupportive. It was a very educational and inspirational book for myself, as I once thought about becoming a DCF caseworker, and have considered social wo Marc Parent tells an honest, heartfelt account of the children and parents (usually mothers) he met while working with NYC's Emergency Children's Services. An idealist, Marc fought hard for every family he met, and writes their stories with reverence and poise, never accusatory to the parents who failed or the system that was disorganized and unsupportive. It was a very educational and inspirational book for myself, as I once thought about becoming a DCF caseworker, and have considered social work as a career. Parent was open in his thoughts and honest with the reader about his own struggles and difficulties he ran into while working. I don't know if this is a book for everyone, as the subject matter itself is disturbing and some of the content is hard-to-swallow, but Parent is an enlightened man who believes in the goodness of each person, and his outlook is something that I believe could inspire almost anyone.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    While Marc Parent tells a pretty accurate picture of life as an overnight, emergency child protective worker I found this book to be lacking in the development of connections between his work and that of the agency as a whole. Mr. Parent shows little understanding of the complex dynamics that create the families that he served (poverty, mental illness, etc.). Additionally, his experiences seem to be told as much for shock value as for his own personal therapy, and not in a way that is useful to While Marc Parent tells a pretty accurate picture of life as an overnight, emergency child protective worker I found this book to be lacking in the development of connections between his work and that of the agency as a whole. Mr. Parent shows little understanding of the complex dynamics that create the families that he served (poverty, mental illness, etc.). Additionally, his experiences seem to be told as much for shock value as for his own personal therapy, and not in a way that is useful to those who are attempting to undertand the child welfare system. Of course, we must also take into account the time in which he worked and his lack of social service work prior to coming to work for emergency services.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    This is the true story of a man who spent 4 years as a child protection worker in the city of NY. His experiences were fairly horrific. I read the book with some discomfort. Practice has improved in the last 15 years and I hope they have made some progress. But the severity and quantity of cases must still be the same. This book is read by all child welafre students and my child abuse and neglect class is reading it now. I look forward to the discussion. Coincidentally, the author Marc Parent is This is the true story of a man who spent 4 years as a child protection worker in the city of NY. His experiences were fairly horrific. I read the book with some discomfort. Practice has improved in the last 15 years and I hope they have made some progress. But the severity and quantity of cases must still be the same. This book is read by all child welafre students and my child abuse and neglect class is reading it now. I look forward to the discussion. Coincidentally, the author Marc Parent is speaking at an event this evening that I will be attending. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Colleenish

    This book was pretty awful, as a lot of social work is. Marc Parent was a young social worker in New York City. His job was to check out the welfare of children and decide whether to take them from their parents or not. His stories were brutal. And even when they ended well, I couldn't help realizing that they don't always. I was surprised by the ones about mental illness because when I expect the abuse, but don't expect loving parents to harm their children. In the last chapter, he explains the This book was pretty awful, as a lot of social work is. Marc Parent was a young social worker in New York City. His job was to check out the welfare of children and decide whether to take them from their parents or not. His stories were brutal. And even when they ended well, I couldn't help realizing that they don't always. I was surprised by the ones about mental illness because when I expect the abuse, but don't expect loving parents to harm their children. In the last chapter, he explains the title of the book, and explains how he comes to terms with his job, what he decides is important. I'm still not sure it was worth the emotional trauma.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    I think the meat of the book is in chapters 7-8, the epilogue and the afterword. For me, chapters 1-6 seemed too out of place. Felt like the author was trying for the "shock factor" before reeling in the reader for his actual message. I understand the importance of chapters 1-6 but being a child protective services worker myself, the chapters didn't make sense and didn't fit together with each other. The chapters were too disjointed and seemed not to have much of a purpose. I would have liked to I think the meat of the book is in chapters 7-8, the epilogue and the afterword. For me, chapters 1-6 seemed too out of place. Felt like the author was trying for the "shock factor" before reeling in the reader for his actual message. I understand the importance of chapters 1-6 but being a child protective services worker myself, the chapters didn't make sense and didn't fit together with each other. The chapters were too disjointed and seemed not to have much of a purpose. I would have liked to see the author expand on just the last two chapters, epilogue, and afterword.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tee

    I should probably begin by saying that I decided to read this book based on my interest in entering the child protective service field. I wanted to some insight from someone who has experienced the field & I could say this book gave me a little bit of that. I give this book three stars because I caught myself wanting to skip more than a few pages and put the book down whenever the author wasn't referring to anything related to the cases in the book, however the story still tugged at my emotions- I should probably begin by saying that I decided to read this book based on my interest in entering the child protective service field. I wanted to some insight from someone who has experienced the field & I could say this book gave me a little bit of that. I give this book three stars because I caught myself wanting to skip more than a few pages and put the book down whenever the author wasn't referring to anything related to the cases in the book, however the story still tugged at my emotions- sign of a good enough book for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Most of us in the field are reluctant to write about our work -- concerns about confidentiality, commitment to the children, and concerns about having a safe space to vent about our frustrations present roadblocks in presenting our experiences candidly. Parent, however, does an excellent job in describing the children we work for, the successes they experience, and the failures of an overworked system. Thought provoking, gentle, and real, this book is one I've read several times. Most of us in the field are reluctant to write about our work -- concerns about confidentiality, commitment to the children, and concerns about having a safe space to vent about our frustrations present roadblocks in presenting our experiences candidly. Parent, however, does an excellent job in describing the children we work for, the successes they experience, and the failures of an overworked system. Thought provoking, gentle, and real, this book is one I've read several times.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Danica

    It started off very strong. Well written with some tragic stories, I especially appreciated the insight on child protective services and on how not everything is as "black and white" as we might first think. Towards the end I started to lose interest. His personal turmoil and emotional fall into depression lasted a little longer than I was willing to read through. This could have been my own mind set at the time, however. Overall, a good book and an easy read. It started off very strong. Well written with some tragic stories, I especially appreciated the insight on child protective services and on how not everything is as "black and white" as we might first think. Towards the end I started to lose interest. His personal turmoil and emotional fall into depression lasted a little longer than I was willing to read through. This could have been my own mind set at the time, however. Overall, a good book and an easy read.

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