December 2014

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Dr. Horowitz,

I am deeply indebted to you for this posting. I had no idea that any scholars - outside of social work scholars and yourself - took a huge interest in the size and scope of government intervention in the family. Do you know of others?

I have to tell you Dr. Horowitz that prior to beginning graduate school (fall '06), I was an employee of NJ's child protective services agency for two years. Therefore, I am acutely aware of the inappropriate uses of rational tools (e.g., family "risk assessments," "structured decision-making," etc.), and the "over-intervention" of government in families. Nevertheless, I must note that seeing, first hand, children born into sexually-abused and drug-fraught families calls for some level of intervention. The problem, however, as D'Amiaco intimated in his paper, is that "the punishment never fits the crime," or the intervention is either inapplicable or untenable based on the circumstances.

The question I have is whether "marginal analysis" can be applied to this?

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