Richard J. Gelles 's The Book Of David

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Overview of The Book of David The Book of David discusses how preserving families in some cases can cost the lives of innocent children. Richard J. Gelles was once a prominent defender of family preservation and believed that keeping troubled families together was what was best for the child. However, he changed his mind after he reviewed the tragic case of David Edwards, who was an infant killed by his mother after falling through the gaps of the child welfare system. David had an older sister who was taken from their home after obtaining juries leading to hospitalization. She was later removed from her parents care after they pleaded guilty to child neglect. A month after David’s birth, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards voluntarily terminated their parental rights and a year later, David was killed. Even with the red flags that the Edwards exhibited with the neglect of Marie, did not prompt social workers to monitor the welfare of David. The case of David completely transformed Gelles’s opinion of family preservation and how our child welfare system is fundamentally flawed and has to be changed so other children do not end up like David. He believes that David’s death could have been prevented and that the idea of family preservation should not be applied to every abuse case. Gelles claims that the child welfare system needs to be reformed and that family preservation does not need to be as strictly reinforced to all cases of child abuse or neglect. Throughout the book, Gelles

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