Investigating Dysfunction at New York's Child Welfare Agency

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Propublica reporter Joaquin Sapien joins us to discuss his recent investigation into the powerful family court system in NYC. His article, “Dysfunction Disorder,” looks at the work conducted by psychologists recruited by Montego Medical Consulting, a for-profit company under contract with New York City’s child welfare agency. For over a decade, the company was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by the city to produce thousands of evaluations in Family Court cases. Sapien shows how those evaluations were then shared with judges making major, life-altering decisions: “whether a child could stay at home or if they’d be safer in foster care; whether a parent should be enrolled in a counseling program or put on medication; whether parents should lose custody of their children altogether.” He also reveals how often those reports were totally wrong, and how they’ve affected the lives of individuals.