22 episodes

Overloaded: Understanding Neglect aspires to build a shared understanding of neglect, its underlying root causes, and how they overload families with stress.

Neglect is a complex and wicked problem, but it’s one that we believe is preventable if we work together to reimagine how we support families overloaded by stress. Neglect is a public health crisis, as it’s the most common reason that children are separated from their families by the government. 37% of all US children experience a Child Protective Services investigation, 13% of all children have a substantiated case of maltreatment, and children of color are disproportionately represented in foster care. Nearly 70% of children in foster care are separated from their families due to neglect.

Overloaded: Understanding Neglect represents the important first step of building a shared understanding of the problem and will serve as a foundation for future innovations in practice, policy, and systems change.

Join host Luke Waldo, Director of Program Design and Community Engagement at the Institute for Child and Family Well-being, as he explores these issues with research and policy experts Tim Grove (Wellpoint Care Network), Jennifer Jones (Prevent Child Abuse America), Bryan Samuels (Chapin Hall), and Dr. Kristi Slack (University of Wisconsin), Lived Experience expert Bregetta Wilson (Wisconsin Department of Children and Families) and five Children’s Wisconsin child welfare and child maltreatment prevention experts. Through these conversations, we developed a compelling narrative that seeks to build a shared understanding of the realities of overloaded families, so that we might find solutions that reduce family separations for reasons of neglect.

Overloaded: Understanding Neglect Institute for Child and Family Well-being

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 26 Ratings

Overloaded: Understanding Neglect aspires to build a shared understanding of neglect, its underlying root causes, and how they overload families with stress.

Neglect is a complex and wicked problem, but it’s one that we believe is preventable if we work together to reimagine how we support families overloaded by stress. Neglect is a public health crisis, as it’s the most common reason that children are separated from their families by the government. 37% of all US children experience a Child Protective Services investigation, 13% of all children have a substantiated case of maltreatment, and children of color are disproportionately represented in foster care. Nearly 70% of children in foster care are separated from their families due to neglect.

Overloaded: Understanding Neglect represents the important first step of building a shared understanding of the problem and will serve as a foundation for future innovations in practice, policy, and systems change.

Join host Luke Waldo, Director of Program Design and Community Engagement at the Institute for Child and Family Well-being, as he explores these issues with research and policy experts Tim Grove (Wellpoint Care Network), Jennifer Jones (Prevent Child Abuse America), Bryan Samuels (Chapin Hall), and Dr. Kristi Slack (University of Wisconsin), Lived Experience expert Bregetta Wilson (Wisconsin Department of Children and Families) and five Children’s Wisconsin child welfare and child maltreatment prevention experts. Through these conversations, we developed a compelling narrative that seeks to build a shared understanding of the realities of overloaded families, so that we might find solutions that reduce family separations for reasons of neglect.

    Overloaded: Understanding Neglect - Introducing the Critical Pathways

    Overloaded: Understanding Neglect - Introducing the Critical Pathways

    Since you last joined us in season one, our team at the Institute for Child and Family Well-being has been busy learning from the experts that you heard here, community changemakers from across our state, and the latest evidence from lots of reading. Through that learning, we developed four critical pathways that will serve as roadmaps to help us focus our efforts, foster deeper relationships across systems and communities and clarify shared goals.
    As a small team, we know that we can't achieve our goal of reducing family separations for reasons of neglect across the state of Wisconsin on our own. So we hope through this podcast, convenings, and ongoing shared learning that we can serve as a catalyst of change. As my team at the Institute has learned this past year and a half, the evidence may take us and you to new places that lead to better outcomes for families. In this first episode, I talk with my team to introduce this season of the podcast so that they can share with us how we got here, where we're going, and what you can anticipate hearing from our experts in season two.

    • 48 min
    Catalyzing Community Change with Mark Cabaj and Liz Weaver

    Catalyzing Community Change with Mark Cabaj and Liz Weaver

    In 2019, The New York Times published an opinion column entitled "Winning the War on Poverty. The Canadians are doing it, we're not." In the column, they note that Canada reduced its official poverty rate by at least 20% from 2015 to 2017. This accomplishment brought its poverty rate to its lowest in recorded history. My guests today, Liz Weaver and Mark Cabaj were part of this societal transformation. Their leadership and use of methodologies such as Collective Impact and Field Catalyst brought people living in poverty together with business, nonprofit, and government partners in hundreds of communities across Canada. By building authentic relationships, each community would learn from one another and build a shared understanding of what was at the root of their poverty.

    So how might we learn from Canada's transformation so that we might empower communities to overcome poverty or child neglect, and build wealth and child and family well-being? I invited Liz and Mark to have this conversation today to share their wisdom and why these approaches are so vital to community and systems change, how they should be and shouldn't be used, and what they look like in real life so that we may create transformational change for our children, families and our communities.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Economic Stability: Root Causes, Root Solutions with Clare Anderson

    Economic Stability: Root Causes, Root Solutions with Clare Anderson

    While Wisconsin defines neglect as the failure, refusal, or inability to care for a child for reasons other than poverty, we can’t ignore the fact that 85% of families investigated by our child welfare system live below 200% of the federal poverty line. Earlier this year, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago published a report on the impacts of poverty on child neglect and abuse. The message was clear. Income supports to families with low incomes, like those provided through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, reduce the risk of child maltreatment and the child welfare system involvement that results from it.

    What if we were to think about programs like TANF that we commonly think of as anti-poverty programs as child maltreatment prevention programs that keep families together? How might we build partnerships across systems that empower the economic stability of overloaded families? How might we follow the evidence, even if it contradicts how we have always done things, so that we may change the conditions that overload families and make them vulnerable to our most intrusive systems?

    Clare Anderson from Chapin Hall joins the podcast to share her expertise on the root causes and role of poverty and their intersection with child neglect, and the practices and policies that effectively address the economic needs of overloaded families that may reduce family separation for reasons of neglect.

    • 56 min
    Social Connectedness: A State of Belonging with Linda Hall and Rebecca Murray

    Social Connectedness: A State of Belonging with Linda Hall and Rebecca Murray

    On May 3rd, 2023, Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, released a national plan to fight against our country’s “loneliness epidemic”. In his opening statement, he wrote:
    "When I first took office as Surgeon General in 2014, I didn’t view loneliness as a public health concern. But that was before I embarked on a cross-country listening tour, where I heard stories from my fellow Americans that surprised me. People began to tell me they felt isolated, invisible, and insignificant. Even when they couldn’t put their finger on the word “lonely,” time and time again, people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds would tell me, “I have to shoulder all of life’s burdens by myself,” or “if I disappear tomorrow, no one will even notice.”
    It was a lightbulb moment for me: social disconnection was far more common than I had realized."

    The research supports what Dr. Murthy heard, and the consequences of loneliness and social isolation are troubling.
    Recently, about one-in-two adults in America reported experiencing loneliness, nearly 1 in 4 Wisconsinites report that they only sometimes or never get the social and emotional support they need; and even more troubling, caregivers of children, especially mothers and single parents, are more likely to experience feelings of loneliness. And that was before COVID-19 cut off so many of us from our support systems, exacerbating loneliness and isolation. Loneliness is far more than just a bad feeling—it is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death. The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.

    While these realities are cause for concern, I believe the fact that we are talking about social isolation and its harms is the first important step in confronting it, in shifting the narrative towards how we build and strengthen social connectedness. So how might we build a movement that brings people and organizations together to destigmatize loneliness and change our cultural and policy response to it?

    I invited Linda Hall and Rebecca Murray to help answer that question by sharing their expertise on the underlying root causes of social isolation; the positive impacts of social connectedness on child development and family prosperity; and the promising and proven practices and policies that effectively strengthen the social connectedness of families that may be at risk of child neglect and family separation. Their work leading Wisconsin’s Office of Children’s Mental Health and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board has prioritized social connectedness for children and families through research and advocacy, and the promotion of practices and frameworks such as Five for Families, the Five Categories of Social Connectedness for Youth, and Family Resource Centers.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Our Workforce in Syndemic Times with Tim Grove

    Our Workforce in Syndemic Times with Tim Grove

    In 2021, amid a global pandemic, a national reckoning on racial justice, and human and environmental devastation from the opioid epidemic, gun violence, and climate disasters, Harvard Public Health published a feature called “The Age of Trauma”. In that feature, they describe these times as “the age of syndemics”, a theory that first emerged in the 1990s during the AIDS epidemic as a way to examine how social ills and medical illnesses collide. In other words, we are again living in a time when those who are most adversely impacted by social ills such as poverty, systemic racism, and trauma, are also most vulnerable to diseases such as COVID.

    These syndemic times are devastating for our most overloaded families, which in turn puts even greater stress on the people who are serving and supporting them. In our mental health, child welfare, and family well-being systems, vicarious trauma, moral injury, and burnout have become more prevalent during the past few years as professionals were exposed to not only human suffering but also the impossible decisions as to whose suffering took priority when their resources limited their ability to meet everyone’s need.

    These past few years have also exposed the lack of diversity and representation in our workforce, which led to a movement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in and across organizations and systems.

    In the face of these challenging times, how might we begin to address the long-standing underlying root causes of these syndemic times that overload families and, in turn, burn out our workforce? How might we create a workforce that is authentically representative of our communities, while also nurturing a work environment that honors and elevates the lived experience of our workforce?

    I invited Tim Grove to help answer these questions by sharing his expertise and understanding of the impacts of trauma and moral injury within the child welfare system, and workforce culture through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and trauma-informed care frameworks.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Community Collaboration: All Hands on Deck with Jermaine Reed

    Community Collaboration: All Hands on Deck with Jermaine Reed

    Earlier this year, Jermaine Reed hosted the Color of Child Welfare conference as he has since 2010, which included a keynote by Dorothy Roberts, the author of Torn Apart, from which Bregetta Wilson read in our first season. Ms. Roberts wrote an article last year titled, “Why End Mandated Reporting”, in which she makes this foundational statement:

    “By federal edict, every state must identify people who work in professions that put them in contact with children – such as teachers, health care providers, social services staff, and day care workers – and require them by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities.” Consequently, she states, “Poor and low-income families are more likely to come in contact with professionals who are mandated to report child maltreatment. Receiving social services, relying on welfare benefits, living in public housing or shelters, and using public clinics all subject parents to an extra layer of surveillance by government workers who are quick to report when they suspect maltreatment or a family’s needs for services.” As we shared in season 1, this system has led to the deeply troubling reality in which 53% of all Black children and 1 in 3 of all children in the United States are subject to a child maltreatment investigation.

    How does our current system of mandated reporting discourage overloaded families from seeking the help that they really need due to fear of ending up in the child welfare system? How does it create moral dilemmas for the many helpers in our community – teachers, social workers, doctors and nurses – who feel compelled to report a family under the weight of the potential consequences if they don’t?
    So how might we transform our mandated reporting system into community support and collaboration that lifts overloaded families up and over their challenges? How might we confront the biases that influence reporters’ decisions as to who to report and who to support? And how might we improve our systems and service coordination so that our helpers know who can help and how to connect them to the families that need them when they need them?

    I invited Jermaine to have this conversation today to share his expertise and explore these questions. As an added bonus, Jermaine and I begin this conversation discussing his journey as a child welfare professional, which covers some of the topics we explored in the Workforce Inclusion and Innovation discussion we had last week with Tim Grove.

    • 1 hr 25 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

Duderonimy121 ,

Very informative

Very explanatory and leaves out no details.
Really gives useful information.
More people need to listen to this topic and pay more attention to this problem.
Greatly contributed with the details needed to help me in my work.
Appreciate it, thanks.

sjonde25 ,

Best podcast addressing the reality of child and family welfare systems in these times!

This valuable podcast addresses challenges facing children, families, and communities with thoughtful conversations integrating complex perspectives, systems analyses, and lived experiences to push much needed discussions past personal perspectives rooted in assumptive values to substantive, critical reflection capable of fostering positive change. I’m so glad this exists!

TosaLC ,

Excellent Conversation

Very informative and applicable to my work.

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