• December 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 9

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Documentary Film Sheds Light on Reunification

Tough Love, a new documentary film directed by filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal, follows the lives of a single father in Seattle and a Bangladeshi-born mother of two in New York City as they navigate various State systems in an effort to improve their chances of having their children returned home from foster care. The film is meant to highlight the lives of two parents who lost custody of their children after being charged with neglect.

Confronted with poverty, substance use, gambling, and domestic violence issues, these families are required to acknowledge their mistakes and overcome various obstacles to prove that they can safely care for their children. Tough Love focuses on two parents' love for their children as well as their parallel doubts and struggles to resolve the problems that brought them to the attention of child protection agencies and the courts. The film also intends to raise awareness about the roles that judges, caseworkers, advocates, and other professionals play in order to determine what makes a parent a "good parent."

The filmmaker offers a compassionate and yet unbiased look into the reality of the child protection, foster care, and court systems, revealing the tireless efforts and dedication of all the professionals involved and the powerful impact of innovative programs and services designed to support and reunify families.

For more information about the film, to view the trailer, or purchase the DVD, visit the film's website at http://www.pbs.org/pov/toughlove/.

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