The Death of Gabriel Fernandez

This Child Welfare Monitor article demonstrates the enormous risks posed to children by certain Family Assessment (FA) practices, such as interviewing children in front of their parents.  When this was done to 10-year old Gabriel Fernandez, he always recanted his story, even after being shot repeatedly in the face with a BB gun.


In Minnesota, FA has been a factor in similar cases.

As the author states, FA isn’t an evidence-based child protection model, it’s an ideology that the $2 billion progressive think tank Casey Family Programs promotes, despite being debunked by respected researchers like Hughes and Rycus (shared with permission).

There are legitimate concerns that dismantling FA completely could diminish strengths-based practices and exacerbate racial disparities.  But Gabriel’s story shows we must work those issues out to protect children.

What do you think?

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Rich Gehrman3 Comments