1. Eugene A
    Eugene A May 20, 2016 at 10:46 am | | Reply

    This important piece was well worth waiting for.
    The things tht impressed me the most about it were the unvarnished candor of the participants, the centrality of addiction / bad life choices in the respondents and the role of children in all the turmoil.
    Somehow, Erica has created an interview environment that invites- even promotes – the users of DCF services to
    discuss the issues that created the need for the DCF inteventions in remarkably coherent ways.
    They talk about their lives and problems with DCF with a clarity that belies the popular notion that the drug addled
    cannot think straight. Painful as it is to hear their stories, they seem completely lucid, reinforcing the urgency of
    saving them from their admitted, shattered lives as the DCF is attempting to do, albeit with mixed results.
    Sad as it is to hear the tragic stories of the parents, the plight of the kids seems far, far worse. It is one thing to make bad choices for yourself but to keep bringing children into the vortex of craziness, almost guarantees the perpetuation of a permanent underclass of hopeless, lost lives that requires the DCF, however difficult some of its transactions are felt to be by the clients.

  2. Sarah
    Sarah May 21, 2016 at 4:26 pm | | Reply

    I just listened to your most recent podcast. From Thursday? Paired with the other DCF show, I’m just left feeling like these two groups of people really, really want the same thing, and so are, in so many ways, actually on the same side. But neither really has all the resources necessary to make the needed amount of change happen. It was so great to have that one success story. Otherwise it’s just utterly stark. But SO important and SO well done.

  3. Joyce Southard
    Joyce Southard May 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm | | Reply

    This was a great show. I appreciate all the parents for sharing their stories. I know it is hard to put yourself out there in this way.

    I would like to offer some advice for the mom who struggles with finding the right disciplinary methods to use for her son. I recommend getting a copy of the book, “Positive Discipline.” As a person who got many slaps to the face growing up (and worse), I knew that I did not want my children to go through that. This book will teach you how to re-frame how you look at discipline, and to completely overhaul the approach that, in order to make children do better, you must first make them feel worse. (This is a frequent refrain in the book.) For this approach to work, you must abandon the defensiveness you may feel about how you were brought up and about how you are simply employing those methods that you were taught.

    I offer this advice without a trace of judgement, but much love.

  4. DCF Social Worker
    DCF Social Worker May 23, 2016 at 9:52 pm | | Reply

    Just got done listening to this episode. I think what these parents had to say was spot on and fair. Their introspection was amazing to hear. What really stands out to me is how they faired within the Court process, which decidedly works against them. Public defenders are the worst. When I first started I was appalled by their ineptitude, indifference, and lack of any real defense – this observation persists 12 years later. Another take away is that this episode gave me the unique opportunity to hear some real feedback from parents and an opportunity to evaluate my own practice, particularly how to go about asking necessary but difficult questions about their lives and children’s welfare. My thanks to the moms and dad for having the courage to be interviewed here. This episode is a gift, thank you Erica for this series; it’s been invaluable, truly.

  5. Christopher Leonard
    Christopher Leonard May 24, 2016 at 6:37 am | | Reply

    thank you Erica.

  6. Jon Scherbatskoy
    Jon Scherbatskoy May 24, 2016 at 12:12 pm | | Reply

    thank you for this.
    Could you now do a show on the Children in DCF? I would guess this would be mostly teenagers who are in foster care or group homes? I know it will be almost impossible to get permission. The children are sometimes placed in homes or with foster parents that don’t “fit” but usually don’t have any choice in the matter. They are constantly being moved around (20 foster homes is not unusual) because DCF says someone made a mistake in being in the wrong place at the wrong time or paperwork not being filled out or because the teenagers themselves are trying to stand on their own and not have to get pre-approval to study for two hours at another students house. The strain that the children deal with is amazing. No wonder they are so angry.

    thank you for doing these stories.

    Could you also please try to put in a glossary with the stories so when someone says “a domestic” or “DPR” the audience will learn that domestic means violence and police, and DPR means Denial of Parental Rights…. I cannot imaging having that happen. You could interrupt the recording for a second to explain, or add a glossary at the beginning.

    thanks again

    ELLEN KIRSCHNER June 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm | | Reply

    Erica ….. very moving .. beautifully done. Real people ….so sad

  8. Kimberly clatk
    Kimberly clatk June 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm | | Reply

    DCF does not know nothing. I deal with them. I do not like DCF. Too many TPR cases in DCF system.

  9. Marley gulyas tellier
    Marley gulyas tellier July 21, 2016 at 8:11 am | | Reply

    Vermont dcf has no clue on the safety of their children. How many of you think for one moment that an 8 year old child should be living with a child rapist who failed the three key questions in a polygraph? He raped an innocent 11 year old boy and destroyed his dignity and gave him memories that should never have been I this child’s mind. Yes he runs free in your state to harm your children. Dcf in Vermont is not for the children but for the money they take in from these poor helpless children.

  10. Nicole R.De'an
    Nicole R.De'an September 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm | | Reply

    I need parents to stand with me as we address questions for clarity .rules change continue to change that are opposite from policy regulations and procedures.Biased Workers actions are not documented by department just covered up and the parent is almost like disciplined and called crazy for asking why they are not putting they’re unlawful manipulation on paper.I have paper trail cuz I write it down my daughter does to.I don’t care about money I just want justice.

  11. L
    L September 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm | | Reply

    I just finished listening to the episode with 6 dcf families. We were the foster family who adopted X’s oldest son, and I can’t tell you how much you opened my eyes to understanding the side of those we often villify for not living how we think they should. We try our best to keep X in contact with our son so one day they may have a healthy relationship when he’s old enough to make decisions on his own. With that said, just want you to know I’m now a subscriber and look forward to listening to many more great podcasts.

  12. AG
    AG October 13, 2016 at 3:37 pm | | Reply

    Thank you. I learned so much from listening to this.

    CINDY J GOKEY March 8, 2022 at 4:40 pm | | Reply

    This was really good to hear the parents perspective.

  14. shelly griggs
    shelly griggs March 19, 2022 at 2:56 pm | | Reply

    Excellent learning experience

  15. Anne Noyes
    Anne Noyes June 3, 2022 at 3:33 pm | | Reply

    Thank you for doing the work so that we could listen to those 6th people stories. Very touching

Leave a Reply

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here


Get the Newsletter

I'll email you when new episodes arrive.

Get the show

Never miss an episode! Subscribe to have the show downloaded to your device:
the iTunes store

Follow me

Extras, chatter, and other observations (and show notices, of course):


  • Elena Lopez commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: Constant slaying of the lonely multiheaded mo (...)
  • Elena Lopez commented on Leland is Moving On: Leland is refreshing (...)
  • erica commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: Loneliness Killing is the point! I'm glad it' (...)
  • Elena Lopez commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: THANK you for this !! I have been binge liste (...)
  • Toshen commented on Speaking Whale: So astonishingly beautiful. Thank you, Erica! (...)