Child welfare and early childhood media to watch, read, and listen to during this time of social distancing.*
Help us keep our mission moving by staying informed about how to keep all children safe, nurtured, and resilient. Here is a short list, curated by our team, of the most compelling educational documentaries, shows, podcasts and books related to our mission to protect children from the trauma of abuse and neglect. With the practice of social distancing and more time at home in the days and weeks ahead, we encourage you to fill some extra down time you may have with mission-driven media that helps you stay engaged and connected to our work.
Available on Netflix:
The Beginning of Life – This series uses breakthroughs in technology and neuroscience to show the importance of adult-child interaction, a child’s stages of learning, and the challenges of becoming a parent.
Babies – The producers of this series followed 15 infants and spoke to 36 scientists over one year to explore the groundbreaking science behind how infants develop.
Note: The following two suggestions have content warnings for graphic depictions of child maltreatment.
I Am Jane Doe — A documentary about child sex trafficking that highlights real cases, including a recent case that involved Congress.
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez – This documentary peels back the curtain on a young child’s brutal murder and the public trials of his guardians and the social workers tasked with checking in on him.
Available on Hulu:
Foster – A documentary that follows stories of foster children and teens, their foster parents, and former foster youth in the L.A. County child welfare system.
Available on Amazon Video:
Instant Family – This feel-good movie is on the lighter side and based on a true story about foster care parents and the three siblings they took in from the foster system. It also highlights the process and case management aspects of foster care.
Books and Audiobooks Available on Amazon:
Note: Amazon is limiting all deliveries to essential items but their e-books and audiobook offerings are still available for purchase!
Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality – This book presents a blueprint for fulfilling the promise of reducing educational and economic inequalities for children by expanding access to education and financial resources at a critical stage of child development.
The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired – Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. explore the four core building blocks of a healthy child’s development: feeling safe, seen, soothed, and secure.
Note: The following suggestions also have content warnings for graphic depictions of child maltreatment and other trauma.
Spilled Milk: Based On A True Story – This is an easy but powerful read. It’s a real story that highlights the cracks in Child Protective Services reporting and investigating, politics, and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on a child throughout their lifespan. (Also available as an audiobook.)
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma – This book takes at the neuroscience behind how trauma affects children and adults. It also goes in-depth on paths to healing from that trauma. (Also available as an audiobook.)
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity — Written by California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, this book explores how deeply our bodies can be impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences for a lifetime.
Child Welfare information Gateway Podcast Series – This podcasts series provides interviews and panel conversations for child welfare and social work professional. It covers a wide range of topics like implementing evidence-based programs, tribal courts and child welfare, reunifications, and other issues surrounding casework.
The Brain Architects – This new podcast from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University focuses on topics that surround the developing child’s brain from brain architecture to toxic stress to serve and return.
*On March 19, Governor Greg Abbott and Dr. John Hellerstadt, Commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, declared a state of public health disaster for Texas. Apart from encouraging hygiene and cleanliness practices, limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, and shuttering dine-in options at restaurants, we are being asked to do our part for the community by staying socially isolated except for essential trips. Spending a lot of time stuck inside during the COVID-19 health crisis is important to “flatten the curve” to slow the virus’s infection rate.