Act 1: A newspaper reports on the horrifying death of a child “known-to-the-system.”
Act 2: The ritual sacrifice of the agency chief.
Act 3: The naming of the OBRC — Obligatory Blue-Ribbon Commission.
Act 4: The invocation of the swinging pendulum. The OBRC declares that “Minnesota’s child protection system has moved from one end of the spectrum to the other since 1999,” and now supposedly puts too much emphasis on family preservation.
The report is seized upon by those who want to tear apart more families — those whose 19th-century counterparts proudly called themselves “child savers” — as part of an ongoing effort to discredit one of the few large-scale efforts to avoid needless foster care: differential response.
There’s just one problem. The pendulum never actually swung.