Chelsea: Surrendered to the State
by Calamari Productions
After countless failed efforts, a mother makes the difficult decision to turn over custody of her volatile nine-year-old daughter to the state in an effort to get her the help she needs.
When states intervene in childrens’ custody and living arrangements, it is usually against the will of the parents. But in some cases, parents voluntarily seek intervention from the state as a last resort to get their children the help they need.

In this video, Linda Wells appeals to the state for help with her out-of-control nine-year-old daughter, Chelsea. Linda has exhausted every other attempt to get her daughter help while living at home, and now feels she must turn over custody of Chelsea to the state to provide her with longer term help. This video follows Linda's experience through the court system as she seeks this support, and provides a glimpse into the judicial process in cases such as this.

Given Chelsea's history, the court recognizes Linda's genuine need for more intense help with her daughter. This video depicts the interventions necessary in such severe cases, and follows every part of the process from court to a residential treatment facility. Chelsea continues to exhibit serious signs of impulsiveness and hyper-emotionality. Linda's frustration and exhaustion is evident as she advocates for her daughter through the drastic measure of giving up custody.

The video follows Linda's journey as she visits a children's residential treatment facility, meets with the staff, and learns about the services available to her daughter there. Linda struggles with the emotions of this decision, but feels it is her only option to help her daughter. Chelsea is eventually seen entering the facility for the first time and moving her things into her new residence, providing viewers with an exclusive look at this highly emotional experience for both child and parent.
In Depth
If you've worked with particularly challenging children, you understand the dilemma often faced by parents and clinicians alike. If you've wondered how such clients become wards of the state, this video will shed light on this process for you. You'll gain a better understanding of the dilemma parents face in these situations and you'll use this insight to inform your practice with such challenging families.

From watching this video, you will:
  • Learn how the judicial process works in cases involving state custody.
  • Tour a residential treatment facility and learn how they operate in working with particularly challenging children.
  • Gain an appreciation for the struggles and mixed emotions faced by parents of such challenging children, and the fragility of the children who must move out of their homes.

Length of video: 00:41:51

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-506-8

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-506-9

Karen Furore Grau and Larry Grau officially launched Calamari Productions in 1995, after a decade of journalism and education policy experience. President and Executive Producer Karen Grau brings 25 years of broadcast experience to all Calamari projects. Her career also includes three years as Deputy Legislative Director to former Indiana Governor Evan Bayh, where her work included analyzing the content and fiscal impact of legislation drafted by state agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor's office. Karen also assisted in writing three State of the State addresses. In 2014, Karen was named a Knight Foundation Fellow in Ethics at Washington & Lee University.

Larry Grau served as Senior Education Policy Executive to former Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon, where he drafted and directed several major initiatives enacted into law, including creating a stakeholders' education roundtable, a statewide comprehensive education accountability system, establishing the state's first alternative education program, and creating Indiana's initial early education reading diagnostic policies and programs.
Calamari Productions remains the only production company in the United States with state Supreme Court access allowing documentary cameras inside child welfare juvenile courts, venues that are—by law—closed to the media and the public. Calamari has turned that trust and extraordinary camera access into unprecedented, award-winning documentary series and video content used around the globe, from television outlets and networks such as ABC, NBC, MSNBC, A&E, MTV, Dateline NBC, Hulu, Nightline, Good Morning America, 20/20, Court TV, PBS, Bio and Channel 4 (UK), to universities and state governments around the country. Calamari video content is used for education and training purposes in over 14 countries, 200 universities, 25 Policy and Advocacy organizations and 85 state government agencies and facilities.

Today, Karen and Larry continue to direct and manage the creative vision that has put the company on the cutting edge of news, documentary and digital content programming. In their spare time they can be found spending time with their adult children, volunteering with at-risk kids and rescuing stray animals when not behind a camera!   
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