cover_small“This labor of love draws on the author’s decades of commitment to the cause of children and their families in New York. Tobis nails the argument that— unless they are in extreme danger—children do better with their families than they do in care. Yet the New York child welfare system is, as he sees it, geared towards social control and its own processes, rather than the rights and needs of children and their families. This is a book that speaks truth to power, through the voices of parents who have found the courage to take on the system and have emerged victorious.” —Carol Bellamy, Esq, Chair, Global Partnership for Education; former executive director of UNICEF

“Cities across the country are struggling to improve the way our families are treated. Tobis’s book, From Pariahs to Partners, presents the powerful and moving story of how parents collaborated with New York City’s government to overhaul its child welfare system. The system has improved dramatically as a result. The book presents a lesson for parents and governments everywhere.” —Cory Booker, JD, mayor of Newark, New Jersey

“The courage and resilience of parents, especially those besieged by poverty and other stresses, are often ignored and misunderstood. From Pariahs to Partners shows parents’ potential for promoting real and sustained reform in child welfare and in mental health, juvenile justice, and other child-serving systems. Parents must be engaged in decisions about their children and empowered as advocates for system reforms. I hope we will embrace this book’s call to do so.” —Marian Wright Edelman, PresIdent, Children’s Defense Fund

“David Tobis’s book takes a long, hard look at the history of child welfare in New York City. What he describes is not always pretty. But what is most encouraging is his portrait of the progress made in the last ten years, especially through greater involvement of parents in the system and in their children’s lives. May the progress continue.” —John Mattingly, Phd, former Commissioner, the NYC Administration for Children’s Services

The New Social Worker: Book Review, Summer 2014

Women’s Review of Books: Book Review January/February 2015

Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare: January 2014

New York Review of Books:  New York:  The Besieged Children

Review from Publisher’s

Sam Roberts’ Review in the New York Times Jun3 2, 2013 New York Times

Chronicle of Social Change, Jun 17, 2013: Book Release Gathers Bay’s Child Welfare Advocates


David Tobis with Ronald Richter Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services at the East Coast Book Launch, June 4, 2013













David Tobis and members of the staff of Children's Village, February 6, 2014

David Tobis and members of the staff of Children’s Village, February 6, 2014