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TV to Watch: “Our America with Lisa Ling – Children of the System”

Lisa Ling waits outside a jail while Los Angeles County social worker Vasonne McDonald decides whether the baby of a recently arrested woman should be placed in foster care. Photo courtesy of OWN.

Journalist Lisa Ling waits outside a jail while Los Angeles County social worker Vasonne McDonald decides whether the baby of a recently arrested woman should be placed in foster care. Photo courtesy of OWN.

Award-winning journalist Lisa Ling will take an unprecedented look at the foster care system tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In “Our America with Lisa Ling – Children of the System,” Ling will follow Los Angeles County social workers who must make the hard decision of whether to remove a child from an allegedly at-risk home, foster families that agree to care for the children, and parents who are fighting to regain custody of their children.

OWN officials hope social workers who play an integral role in the nation’s foster care system will watch the episode.

“Lisa’s really excited about this episode since she received unprecedented access,” OWN spokeswoman Kristin Robinson wrote in an email to

You can watch a sneak preview of the episode. During the episode Ling will be live tweeting and holding a conversation about the nation’s foster care system, Robinson said. You can follow her on Twitter: @lisaling.

Social workers are committed to improving the nation’s foster care system. The National Association of Social Workers has experts available who can talk to the media and community organizations about the state of the nation’s foster care system. You can also learn more about how social workers help foster children and create new families through adoption at NASW’s “Adoptions and Foster Care” website.



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  1. Anyway this will be available on DVD as some us cpsw’s do not have access to the Oprah network(can’t afford full cable).

  2. My wife and I are moms to two very well balanced…extremely loving teenagers. We went through the so called system….we took the classes…had our home inspected…said we only wanted the unwanted…the teenagers…after over a year we were matched with a precious teenager who was pulled from us because she was worth money to the institution she was staying at because they were paid for the bed she stayed in. They convinced this precious child to stay within the system. Other social workers said it was dysfunctional… We are highly successful women with two very amazing well adjusted children. We were willing to adopt her…a teenager within the system….we were willing to adopt any teenager needing a home. Please don’t report on a system who needs foster families or adoptive families when the system works against these children for adoption. We watched family after family wait for children…we watched family after family drop out of the system through sheer frustration with the system….there are families out there willing to adopt these children….we have watched them drop out of the program and go to private adoption because of the lack of the system to process our applications and fight against us to provide healthy loving homes for these precious children….we wanted the unwanted but chose to drop out of the system because of the system.

  3. About your story of children of the system:
    I am A grandmother of child in the system. I was call one morning. The women on the phone said
    “We are having a TDM meeting at 2;00pm today your grandchildren are going to be removed from the home today. If you want them YOU need to show up.”
    What you story left out are the many family member who are giving there children only to be told after you have had the children for 30 day The department of children and family services will not help with the children financial and you as a family member must take care of them. because of a loophole the state wrote in to a bill if the parent work or have other income the children do not quiefly for assistant . The family member are left holding the bag. There are laws about DCFS not compsating for the care of family so you can provided the basics . I believe one of the reason they cannot get help from many family is because after they drop the children off they just don’t CARE. What about the children?

  4. Its not about NOTcaring, its about FUNDING. Yes if the parents have worked or have commited fraud with TAD, the children are not federally funded. THEREFORE the relative caregivers cant receive foster funds on behalf of the children. This has nothing to do with the social workers or the county, its federal laws. If the children are not federally eligible the relatives are advised to apply for TANF (cash aid/medi-cal). Should the relatives adopt they WILL be eligible for AAP (adoption assistance program). AAP is money/medi-cal until 18 years.

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