Segments in this Video

Dwayne's Case: Sexual Offender (03:50)


At age 9, Dwayne is not able to live at home. His siblings spent a 3 months in protective custody, but are now home. We learn about Dwayne's behavior. He set a fire and was accused of sexually abusing other children including siblings. His mother blames his behavior on sexual abuse he experienced as a very young child.

Sexual Offenses of a Child (03:12)

We hear testimony from Dwayne's mother, who denies her son has abused any child. She wants him home and thinks she can take care of him. Dwayne's therapist lists some of his sexual offenses against other children. The judge makes a ruling about where Dwayne will live.

Connie's Case: Violent Teen (03:40)

Connie is a violent teen. Her mother relates Connie's suicide attempt Connie's therapist lists all the drugs the teen takes. Even under medication, Connie has 20 registered assaults against staff members. The judge rules that Connie will move from a residential facility and into a detention facility.

Troubled Family (03:36)

Three of the four Miller children have been through the child welfare system. One son is still in foster care. One sister was a runaway. Connie Miller, in shackles, returns to the courtroom. The judge puts her on probation with a strong warning. The judge puts responsibility on the entire Miller family to care of themselves.

Child Welfare System (04:48)

Joshua is in need of services, charged with battery of his mother. She describes his violent behavior, noting that he has been in counseling for 4 years. Josh qualifies as a CHINS child (Children in need of services). He is made a ward of the court. Josh wants to live with his dad in Texas.

Custody Battle: (05:03)

Raymond is a child caught between two battling parents. Raymond senior, the father, is in prison awaiting trial for stalking Dana, the boy's mother. The judge must decide on visitation rights for the father, as well as parenting classes and alcohol rehabilitation. Raymond is belligerent in the courtroom. Raymond says he will continue to stalk Dana after he is released.

Child Sexual Abuser (03:21)

A 9-year-old boy has spent 45 days in a residential treatment center for sexual abuse of other children. The mother learns that her son may be able to move back home within 30 days. We learn that the boy does move home and things seem to be working out.

Pregnant, Troubled Teen (04:50)

After spending two months in a foster home, Stephanie gets to go home. Both mother and daughter have been in need of services. Before long, at age 13, Stephanie is about to give birth. Her mother's problems had resulted in Stephanie and her siblings being removed to foster care over the years.

Single Mother in Trouble (04:01)

A single mother's daughter has been in foster care for more than a year. She wants her daughter back. A judge talks about what goes into his decision making about the disposition of children. The mother disappears and doesn't show up for the court hearing to determine if her parental rights will be terminated.

Child Having a Child (02:19)

Seventh grader Stephanie gives birth. The child becomes a ward of the court, primarily because of Stephanie's age. The judge wonders if Stephanie and her mother will ever be capable of raising the child.

Father Kidnaps Daughters (04:53)

The father of 3 girls, who live with their mother, takes the girls to relatives and does not return them. The man is arrested and the girls temporarily become wards of the court. Despite the negative influence of a new boyfriend, the mother gets her three children back.

Teen Sentencing (06:04)

Joshua was moved out of his home after many violent outbursts. He and his family are before the judge to see if he will be allowed to return home. The judge orders him to spend the next 15 months in an in-patient treatment center that is three hours away from his home.

Victim Turned Perpetrator (04:30)

Ten-year-old Dwayne, with an IQ of 60, is charged with a felony shortly after returning home. He sexually molests a neighbor child. Dwayne will undergo a psychiatric examination to determine what his limitations are and what kinds of services he will need.

Credits: The Child Welfare System: In the Child’s Best Interest (00:08)

Credits: The Child Welfare System: In the Child’s Best Interest

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The Child Welfare System: In the Child’s Best Interest

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Winner of the national Edward R. Murrow Award and several Emmy Awards, this documentary contains extraordinary footage of actual juvenile court proceedings involving sexual abuse—including interviews with the kids and families affected, as well as with the juvenile judges and service professionals charged with helping at-risk kids and families. Viewer discretion advised. (57 minutes)

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL52341

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.