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Stories Told And Untold: Confidentiality Laws And The Master Narrative Of Child Welfare, Matthew I. Fraidin Jan 2010

Stories Told And Untold: Confidentiality Laws And The Master Narrative Of Child Welfare, Matthew I. Fraidin

Journal Articles

In most states, child welfare hearings and records are sealed or confidential. This means that by law, court hearings and records may not be observed. The same laws and court rules also preclude those who are authorized to enter and watch from discussing anything learned or observed in a closed courtroom or from a sealed court record with anyone not involved in the case. It is the restriction on speech—on telling stories about child welfare—with which this Article is concerned. I will argue in this Article that the insights of narrative theory and agenda-setting studies help us understand the damaging …