Episode 177: Failure To Protect with Jeremy Pion-Berlin
This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast presents an interview with innovative film and documentary Director and Producer Jeremy Pion-Berlin. Jeremy’s diverse skill set is reflected in the projects that he created: branded content for Samsung and Folgers, a docu-series Heartlandia (CarbonTV), and documentary chronicling professional football player, Derek Carr. His latest documentary — Failure to Protect — is the focus of this episode. Failure To Protect follows five parents -— Anna, Trish, Rheta, Ernst, and Rosa — as they fight desperately to reunify with their children taken by Child Protective Services (CPS). It’s an unwavering and nuanced look at the child welfare system where criminals have more rights than parents. Through these highly personal stories, Failure To Protect explores many tough questions, such as do parents whose personal struggles compromised their children’s safety deserve a second chance? Is the CPS system biased against minorities, LGBTQIA+ couples, and the economically disadvantaged? To avoid leaving a child in an abusive or dangerous environment, do social workers remove children first and ask questions later? The film offers an unprecedented, in-depth window into the grim realities of the child welfare system through the often ignored perspective of parents. In this episode host Michael Shields and Jeremy Jeremy Pion-Berlin discuss the surprising truth that a person has more rights as a criminal in the criminal justice system than as a parent in the child welfare system. They consider the amount of power social workers have while also acknowledging the immense challenges of their work. They talk about the profound trauma that affects both the parents and children in dealing with the foster system, potential changes that could make the child welfare system more just, and much more.
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