Family / Children


1:26:05Digital NationFeb. 2, 2010
1:26:31When Kids Get LifeMay. 8, 2007
1:26:14Hand of GodJan. 16, 2007


The Medicated Foster Child

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics this month reveals a particularly concerning trend for children in foster care: … Continue reading


Jul. 3, 2003

Public Schools, Inc.

(60 minutes) Ten years after "edupreneur" Chris Whittle first announced his bold plan to revolutionize the way we educate children, Whittle's Edison Schools continue to be a lightening rod for the issue of for-profit, public education. FRONTLINE and the PBS education series The Merrow Report join forces with The New York Times to investigate the intertwined fortunes of Edison Schools and its charismatic yet controversial leader, and examine whether it's possible to create world-class schools that turn a profit. (Web site »)
Feb. 6, 2003

Failure to Protect: The Caseworker Files

(120 minutes) The removal of a child from an abusive or neglectful parent is one of the most drastic actions a government undertakes; and yet it does so with little or no public scrutiny. In 2001, the state of Maine gave FRONTLINE unprecedented access to observe the daily lives of its child protection caseworkers, with whom the decision to remove children begins. In a companion presentation to Failure to Protect: The Taking of Logan Marr, FRONTLINE cameras follow a small set of caseworkers in one office as they interact with families and each other, dealing with the excruciating dilemmas and heartbreaking choices that confront them every day. Failure to Protect: The Caseworker Files is both moving and probing, asking such questions as when should a child be removed? How much damage do we do to children in the name of helping them? And when should parents lose the right to raise their own child? Following the documentary, FRONTLINE will air a one-hour town meeting on child welfare policy. (Web site »)
Jan. 30, 2003

Failure to Protect: The Taking of Logan Marr

(60 minutes) In January 2001, five-year-old Logan Marr was found dead in the basement of her foster mother's home in Chelsea, Maine. The foster mother, Sally Schofield, was a highly respected former caseworker for Maine's Department of Human Services. FRONTLINE examines the girl's short, troubled life and asks a series of tough questions: Why was a little girl who had never been abused taken from her birth mother? Was her mother given a real opportunity to regain custody? And did the state miss significant clues that she was in danger? Through extensive interviews with key figures involved in the case - including exclusive access to Schofield herself - FRONTLINE rewinds the story to look closely at the events that led up to Logan's death: from the state's decision to remove her from her birth mother's home to her troubled decline and eventual death in foster care. FRONTLINE continues its examination of Maine's Department of Human Services on February 6 with the one-hour documentary "Failure to Protect: The Caseworker Files" followed by a one-hour town meeting on child welfare policy. (Web site »)
Nov. 14, 2002

Let's Get Married

(60 minutes) Marriage is in trouble. The past half-century has witnessed staggering changes in the makeup of the American family as the number of single-parent households and children born out of wedlock has skyrocketed. The traditional American family structure is crumbling, and no one's sure why. Now everyone from the government to church leaders to intellectuals--on both the right and the left--are pushing marriage, especially among the poor. But can such efforts turn the social tide and make marriage once again the norm? Should the government have a role in such an intimate, private institution? And for those along the margins, why doesn't marriage seem to matter any more? FRONTLINE correspondent and author Alex Kotlowitz explores the biggest demographic mystery of the last half-century and examines the modern marriage movement. (Web site »)
Mar. 28, 2002

Testing Our Schools

(60 minutes) President Bush's proposal for mandatory public school testing in grades three through eight signals the beginning of a new era in public education, one marked by increased federal involvement in schools and an unprecedented expansion in the role of tests. A business school graduate and self-styled "CEO President," Bush envisions a business model where educators set objectives, measure performance, and hold students and teachers accountable for results. But will the business model work in education? FRONTLINE correspondent John Merrow examines how the quest for higher scores is changing teaching and learning in America. (Web site »)
Jan. 30, 2001

Juvenile Justice

(90 minutes) Should teenagers who commit serious crimes be tried as juveniles or adults? What happens to young offenders who reach the 'end of the line' in the juvenile court system - and how do you rehabilitate these young people to prevent future criminal behavior? FRONTLINE explores these questions as it follows four juvenile offenders - one white, two Hispanic, and one African American - through the Santa Clara, California, juvenile courts, observing how the criminal justice system treats their cases and determines their fates. (Web site »)
May. 23, 2000

The Battle Over School Choice

(60 minutes) With more students than ever enrolled in kindergarten through high school, education is now a top voter concern. What's needed to improve our public schools-better teachers, smaller classes, greater parent involvement, higher standards, more tests? Or, is privatization the answer? Democrats and Republicans differ sharply on the hot button issue of school vouchers and whether public funds should be used to pay for private or parochial schools. FRONTLINE explores the heated political debate over the reform of public education and investigates the spectrum of "school choice" options-from vouchers to charter schools to for-profit academies-and their growing popularity in troubled inner cities. FRONTLINE also interviews presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush about their views on reform initiatives and looks at their track records on improving public schools. (Web site »)
May. 2, 2000

Jefferson's Blood

(90 minutes) For years there existed a rumor that Thomas Jefferson had a long-standing relationship and several children by Sally Hemings, a woman who was his slave. Now, DNA tests all but prove the rumor true. An early hero of the anti-slavery movement, Jefferson wrote brilliantly of the corrupting influence of slavery on blacks and whites alike. Yet it is now apparent that he lived a dual life, sharing his house with his white daughter and grandchildren while his unacknowledged mistress and his children by her worked in the same house as slaves. In a personal essay, FRONTLINE correspondent Shelby Steele examines Jefferson's life and follows the descendants of Jefferson and Hemings as they undergo DNA testing, search out their family history, and try to sort out their place along America's blurred color line. (Web site »)
Oct. 19, 1999

The Lost Children of Rockdale County

(90 minutes) Conyers, Georgia is a prosperous bedroom community just outside Atlanta. FRONTLINE examines the link between an outbreak of syphilis among a group of its teenagers and the well-off community in which they live. The film reveals a parent's worst nightmare--children as young as fourteen naming scores of sexual partners; others telling of binge drinking, drugs and sex parties. In a series of intertwining profiles, FRONTLINE uncovers the roots of the Conyers syphilis epidemic and reveals the turbulent psychology of America's suburban teenagers. <br> (Web site »)
Oct. 5, 1999

Secrets of the SAT

(60 minutes) How fair are standardized tests? What do they measure? And what's their impact on racial diversity on America's college campuses? FRONTLINE examines the debate over fairness in college admissions, looking at the national obsession with test scores, the multimillion dollar test prep industry, and the legal challenges to race-sensitive admissions policies. A diverse set of students are followed through the stressful college admissions cycle as they dream of attending some of the country's most prestigious universities. (Web site »)
Jun. 22, 1999


(60 minutes) In his first film, acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz creates a poignant and indelible portrait of his father, an unpredictable, courageous, and remarkably funny man who somehow manages to make Alzheimer's disease look like another of his many adventures. As the curtain of this disease falls over Hy Meyerowitz, Joel and his son take him on a two-week car trip from Florida back to the New York neighborhood where he raised his family. Relaxed and free enough to say anything that comes to mind, Hy imparts his wisdom to all he meets along the way?wisdom gained from a long life observing human foibles. In the week of Father's Day, the film is a moving tribute to a father from his son and reminds us that the present moment is one of life's real treasures.<br><br>The web site will include a short piece on Hy Meyerowitz's life and career; links on Alzheimer's disease; and excerpts from radio interviews with Joel Meyerowitz about making the film with his son and father. (Web site »)
Sep. 21, 1998

The Farmer's Wife

(390 minutes) Filmmaker David Sutherland's searing portrait of a marriage -- "one of the extraordinary tv events of the decade." (Web site »)
Feb. 3, 1998

My Retirement Dreams

(60 minutes) 'I began my journey as a voyeur in the landscape of old age, but when it was over I was an insider,' says FRONTLINE producer Marian Marzynski. Marzynski, who calls himself somewhere between a boomer and a geezer,' takes viewers on a personal and poignant journey into America's way of growing old. As the baby boom generation begins to anticipate age, Marzynski settles into the life of Miami Beach's condo complexes, investigating the retirees' struggle to leave behind their old lives and to find new meaning and new joy in life's final chapter. (Web site »)
May. 27, 1997

Innocence Lost: The Plea

(120 minutes) FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel revisits the defendants in the Little Rascals Day Care sexual abuse case and reports on how each of them, while accused of the same crimes, have met with dramatically different fates. In 1991, FRONTLINE broadcast Bikel's Emmy Award-winning profile of Edenton, North Carolina, a town torn by reports of sexual abuse emerging from its best day-care center. More than thirty people were accused, and seven were eventually indicted on hundreds of abuse charges. In 1993, 'Innocence Lost: The Verdict,' winner of a DuPont Columbia Silver Baton and the Grand Prize at the Banff Television Festival, detailed stunning courtroom events and raised serious questions about the fairness of the trials which resulted in twelve life sentences for Little Rascals owner Bob Kelly and one life sentence for day-care worker Dawn Wilson. 'Innocence Lost: The Plea' reveals what has become of those caught up in this controversial case. (Web site »)
May. 13, 1997

Little Criminals

(60 minutes) It was an unthinkable crime. In California, a six-year-old boy entered the home of a neighbor to steal a tricycle and savagely beat Ignacio Bermudez, Jr., a thirty-day-old infant. The boy was arrested and became the youngest person in U.S. history ever charged with attempted murder. Today, doctors fear Ignacio may never walk, see, or care for himself. In a film of surprising candor and emotional depth, FRONTLINE explores the conscience of a community and the haunting problem of violent crimes committed by ever-younger children. (Web site »)
Nov. 26, 1996

Secret Daughter

(150 minutes) FRONTLINE producer June Cross tells the intricate story of her own family through the prism of the changing face of race relations in America. Cross, born to a white mother and an African-American father in the early 1950s, was given away by her mother to live with a black family in Atlantic City when she was four.She only saw her mother and stepfather, TV star Larry Storch, on visits to Hollywood during school vacations. But Cross's mother was afraid her husband's career would be destroyed if the truth about Cross was discovered, so she kept her a secret. FRONTLINE takes viewers on an epic journey across the racial divide, into the hidden world of Hollywood and deep into the complicated relationship between a daughter and the mother who gave her away. (Web site »)
May. 23, 1995

The Confessions of RosaLee

(60 minutes) The Washington Post ran a week-long series of front-page articles about one Washington, D.C., resident and her family. Reporting on the interrelationships of poverty, racism, crime, illiteracy, and drug use and their persistence over generations, reporter Leon Dash spent four years getting to know RosaLee Cunningham, a thief, former prostitute and drug addict, and the mother of eight children. Dash observed first-hand the poverty, drug use, and crime now cycling through a third generation of RosaLee's family. FRONTLINE examines the reaction and controversy Dash's powerful report had among policymakers and amidst the African-American community and reveals what happens when the reporter-as-objective-observer erases the boundary between himself and his subject.
May. 16, 1995

The Vanishing Father

(60 minutes) In less than two generations, a seismic shift has occurred in the makeup of the American family. Today,fatherlessness has become the norm for about forty percent of American children and, some experts believe, contributes to some of our most urgent social problems. FRONTLINE explores this dramatic change in the American family and the startling findings of sociologists that, despite economic status, children from single parent homes are twice as likely to drop out of high school, to become teen-age mothers, and to spend time in jail.
May. 2, 1995

When the Bough Breaks

(60 minutes) FRONTLINE explores the bond between parents and children and the profound implications for children's behavior later in life if that attachment is hampered. These characteristics may include overly aggressive behavior, serious learning problems, and delinquency. The program uses surveillance cameras in the homes of three middle-class families who are struggling with troubled children between the ages of sixteen months and three years and observes the behavior and interactions of the children and their parents. 'Even before they can speak, children give out signals,' says producer Neil Docherty. 'What are those signals? And what happens when they are misread or missed entirely?'
Apr. 11, 1995

Divided Memories Part 2

(120 minutes) Part 2 looks at the effects that remembered abuse has had on the families involved and explores how we distinguish real memories from those which are not true. 'We know that sexual abuse is a real problem,' says Bikel. 'But when the memories are not real, what makes the 'victim' so ready to believe they are? What cultural forces have made the explanation of sexual abuse so easy to accept?'
Apr. 4, 1995

Divided Memories Part 1

(120 minutes) Today, a raging debate over the validity of repressed memory about sexual abuse divides the therapeutic community, the women's movement, and thousands of accusers and accused. In 'Divided Memories,' producer Ofra Bikel examines the complicated issue of repressed memory, looking at what we know about memory and the way it works. Tracing the repression debate back to Sigmund Freud, Part 1 examines the different kinds of therapies used to help patients remember, including age-regression therapy, past-life therapy, and hypnosis.
Jan. 10, 1995

Does TV Kill?

(90 minutes) Before the average American child leaves elementary school, researchers estimate that he or she will have witnessed more than eight thousand murders on television. Has this steady diet of imaginary violence made America the world leader in real crime and violence? FRONTLINE correspondent Al Austin journeys through what is known about television violence and how it affects our lives. The program reveals some unexpected conclusions about the impact TV has on the way we view the world.
Jun. 21, 1994

The Trouble with Evan

(90 minutes) What makes 11 year-old Evan lie, fight and steal? And what leads his parents to heap verbal abuse on their son, to tell him, 'I would like to lock you up in a cage and let everybody look at you like you're an animal'? Using surveillance cameras placed inside Evan's home, Frontline dramatically records one family's turmoil as they try to cope with and change their son's behavior and examines the vital connection between parenting and juvenile crime.
Oct. 19, 1993

Prisoners of Silence

(60 minutes) Facilitated communication (FC) has been heralded as a breakthrough technique for nonverbal people with autism. The method uses a helper to control the involuntary movements of an autistic person's hand, allowing that person to type his or her thoughts on a keyboard. Thousands of people have begun using FC, often to communicate major life decisions like the desire to go to college or to move to a new home. But many scientists reject FC as simply not real and believe that it is the facilitator who is unknowingly controlling the hand of the autistic individual. FRONTLINE presents a comprehensive investigation of this controversial technique, interviewing the leaders of the FC movement, scientists, facilitators, and parents of autistic children and raises tough questions about the implications of its use for people with autism and their families.
Nov. 24, 1992

In Search of Our Fathers

(60 minutes) Marco Williams was 24 years old when he learned his father's name. It was the first of many things he would discover about himself and his family in a journey into his family's past. Frontline airs the first-person story of Williams's seven-year search to learn about his father, to uncover the circumstances surrounding his birth, and to come to terms with what it means to grow up fatherless.
Jun. 16, 1992

A Kid Kills

(60 minutes) When 15 year old Damien Bynoe and two friends took a gun and went to settle a dispute, 15 year old Korey Grant and 11 year old Charles Copney, Jr. wound up dead. Public outcry over the case led Massachusetts politicians to pass one of the country's toughest juvenile crime laws. Frontline probes what turned Damien into a kid with a gun and examines the debate over how to deal fairly with him and other young people drawn into the violence on our streets.
Apr. 28, 1992

Who Cares About Children?

(60 minutes) With 410,000 children in foster-care and over half a million expected by 1995, child advocates across the country say nearly every state is in, or approaching, a crisis. Frontline examines the child-welfare crisis in Arkansas and the struggle to reform the system-a political battle that focused squarely on Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton as he launched his presidential campaign.
Dec. 3, 1991

Who Killed Adam Mann?

(60 minutes) On March 5, 1990, in New York City, five year-old Adam Mann was beaten to death for eating a piece of cake. The autopsy indicated Adam had been battered by his parents for years. Frontline investigates Adam's death and reveals a documented record, stretching back seven years, of how New York City's child-welfare system failed to protect Adam and his three brothers from their violent parents.
May. 7, 1991

Innocence Lost

(120 minutes) What has happened to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina, now that its most prestigious day-care has been closed down because of charges of sexual abuse? Frontline examines the painful personal story of a divided community, the tangled roots of the charges, and the history of the investigation in this highly controversial case.
Apr. 30, 1991

Who Pays for Mom and Dad?

(60 minutes) Frontline examines the crisis facing middle-class Americans seeking long-term nursing home care for elderly parents. The report focuses on the tremendous financial difficulties faced by families who must decide what's best for their loved ones.
Feb. 14, 1989

Children of the Night

(60 minutes) The story of Iain Brown, who at thirteen left the comfortable world of a middle-class family in Walnut Creek, CA, for the life of a male hustler in San Francisco. Iain committed suicide in December 1987 at the age of nineteen. His story highlights the disturbing and growing national problem of teenage runaways and suicides.
Jun. 28, 1988

My Husband is Going to Kill Me

(60 minutes) In February 1987, 30 year-old Pamela Guenther turned to the police and the courts in a Denver suburb for protection from her violent husband. Three weeks later, as her children watched, she was murdered. Frontline asks why the system could not protect Pamela Guenther.
Mar. 1, 1988

Let My Daughter Die

(60 minutes) Joe and Joyce Cruzan want doctors to remove their severely brain damaged daughter from the life-support system that keeps her alive. Nearly two years before it became the US Supreme Court's first right-to-die case, Frontline explored the complex legal and moral issues of this Missouri couple's battle to allow their daughter to die.
Mar. 3, 1987

Desperately Seeking Baby

(60 minutes) Two million American couples desperately want babies and can't have them. They are turning to private adoption deals brokered by lawyers and counselors. Sometimes they get a new baby and a happy home; sometimes their hearts are broken. Frontline looks at a system filled with ambiguity and heartbreak.
Feb. 25, 1986

Divorce Wars

(60 minutes) Half of all American marriages end in divorce. Using unique access to mediation and court proceedings, Frontline profiles the couples, the lawyers, the judges, and most poignantly, the children caught between parents.
May. 21, 1985

What About Mom and Dad?

(60 minutes) Americans over the age of 75 are the fastest growing segment of the nation's population. Many have spent all their lives planning carefully for retirement. But they find their savings destroyed by nursing home care and federal programs for medical costs covering much less than they ever thought. When they turn to their families for help, difficult emotional and financial choices must be made.
Feb. 12, 1985

The Child Savers

(60 minutes) Over a million cases of child abuse were reported in 1984-and the figure is growing. Frontline follows a dedicated group of case workers from the Emergency Children's Service of New York into homes where they confront violent parents and battered children.



Privacy Policy   Journalistic Guidelines   PBS Privacy Policy   PBS Terms of Use   Corporate Sponsorship
FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.