Links to opinion pieces in the press and videos of talks.


This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Molly McGrath Tierney is the Director for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, managing the City's child welfare and public assistance programs. Over the past six years, she has led a massive reform effort to dramatically improve the impact of services to vulnerable citizens of Baltimore.

Adoption is now high on the political agenda as the best option for the 65,000 children in care. But with less than 5% actually placed for adoption, children must wait an average of two years and seven months for a permanent family. Why does it take so long? What is the human cost?

This video provides an account of the children who were taken into care and were waiting to find new parents. The focus is on children, foster parents, and then back to the biological parents as they are now. A powerful account of how good intentions to create new social lives for children can fall short of objectives while their biological parents grow and develop and can probably provide the care they need very responsibly if given just a little bit of support.

opinion pieces

How the power of storytelling can change lives in child welfare cases, 20 August 2015.
Red Cross takes over advocacy for at-risk Canberra families, 17 August 2015.
Victorian family advocates in bid to stop change to child protection legislation, 22 June 2015.
Child protection laws could create a new stolen generations, 12 May 2015.
Adoption has a role in child protection but it is no panacea, 17 April 2015.
Racism a factor in child removal, March 16, 2015.
Child protection: How to keep vulnerable kids with their families, 31 October 2014.
Empowering Indigenous communities to prevent child abuse and neglect, 30 October 2014.
Foster parents need more support to care for vulnerable children, 29 October 2014.
We remove kids from abuse and neglect but are they better off in the long run?, 27 October 2014.
We all have a role in protecting children: end the silence on abuse, 24 October 2014.
Abuse and neglect: Australia’s child protection crisis, 23 October 2014.
Risky business: how child protection workers decide to remove children from their parents, 23 October 2014.
A snapshot of Australia’s child protection services, 23 October 2014.
Australia in the grip of a new stolen generation: Indigenous children forcibly removed from homes, 2 August 2014.
Care providers warn state system leaves vulnerable children at risk of abuse, 24 July 2014.
Spaghetti bolognaise on a Tuesday night. The views of young people, 18 July 2014.
Aboriginal children in care 'a new Stolen Generation', UTS Indigenous researcher says, 26 May 2014.
The next stolen generation, 17 May 2014.
Misused neuroscience defining child protection policy, 26 April 2014.
Call to fastrack adoption instead of out-of-home care for at-risk children, 12 March 2014.
Tony Abbott announces new measures to simplify adoption within a year, 19 December 2013.
Adoption makes more sense than out of home care, 8 November 2013.
Nation risks a new stolen generation, leaders warn, 15 June 2013.