Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The media coverage of the Heene Family (of Wife Swap fame) continues endlessly, even more so now that the adrift balloon once suspected of carrying six-year-old Falcon Heene has been declared a hoax. Among the many questions being asked is whether Child Protective Services should investigate the Heene home. This, in turn, raises the ageless question of when the threshold for such intervention has been established, implicating the tension between intervening too frequently and failing to intervene when intervention is needed. Of course, the answer must carefully consider the very strong autonomy and privacy rights of the parents, the interests of the children (which often may be to remain free of intervention), and the very limited number of alternatives—particularly for a set of three siblings.