Friday, February 18, 2011

Bad Publicity Yet Again

I stopped by the CNN.com website tonight, only to find this video on the front page:



As much as I like Anderson Cooper and AC360, I found this entire video to be rather unsettling. Right from the beginning this report seemed to have a biased, condemnatory tone towards the medical staff caring for the baby and child protective services as a whole. While the parents may have felt that a great injustice was committed against them, I think that the hospital staff was completely appropriate in the manner they responded to this suspected shaken baby case. What surprises me, though, is the fact that the other child was actually placed in foster care for two weeks. Typically, removals are usually done only as a last resort and if a child is suspected of being in immediate danger. It's hard to say whether child protective services was justified in removing the second child, and I feel that there's more to this case than what was shown in the news report.

What bothers me most about this video is negative portrayal of social workers as individuals who take babies away on a whim. Social workers already have to deal with the "baby snatcher" stereotype, and news reports like the one on AC360 only seem to perpetuate this misconception. To me, it's safe to say that social workers provide more help than harm to people on a daily basis. Is it so hard for the media to run a story that isn't an abasement of our profession?

Social work receives bad publicity from the news media yet again. I suppose this shouldn't be news at all.

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