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Doc ‘Failure to Protect’ dissects child welfare system


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Child protective services (CPS) is something widely spoken about in the United States; but only over the surface, at-least if you’re not directly involved or know someone directly involved. Unfortunately, what we do know is the negative side of it. We’ve all heard of children hopping from one home onto the next and how it’s an endless cycle. ‘Failure to Protect’ gives us so much insight into what exactly goes down during the process of taking a child from their home.

Showing the side of who made the call (to remove the child), the protocol behind deciding whether or not this child is safe or not, and the process of the parents trying to get their children back in their custody.

As a viewer, we see various families with similar, but different stories who have suffered for years in trying to solve their cases and reunite their families. One case, in particular, caught my attention, which was about a family of five, where the middle child accuses her dad of sexual assault and her mom of physical abuse and CPS fails to take a closer look and prove whether or not her accusations were truthful or not, seeing as she had various mental conditions that could have altered her judgment or caused her to make these claims.

The development of this particular case is definitely a strong reason to watch this documentary as, in my opinion, it’s not something we might be used to hearing and/or seeing.

Of course, we see the bad, but we also see the good. The power and strength of a parent that loves their child and fights to get them back in their home is truly captivating and inspiring. We know a mother’s love has no limits and in this film, it’s put to the test. Mothers who struggle with their child’s behavior or mothers who weren’t aware of certain situations at home that stay consistent and work hard to try and achieve this goal that some do, but others, unfortunately, aren’t able to due to the system.
Finally, the thing I enjoyed the most about this film is the fact that not everything is what it seems. I believe this is a strong lesson that many haven’t finished learning and this film shows you that. Those people that have authority maybe do not actually have your best interests at heart, and maybe the person whom you thought to share a special connection with surprises you by being someone completely different than you thought they were.

‘Failure to Protect’ keeps viewers interested from start to finish by showing you the ups and downs these parents go through and shares a glimpse of their hardship and suffering that we do not see on a daily basis and ultimately teaches us many valuable lessons.

The documentary is out for digital streaming.

By Stefania Bianchi

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