One Story

The Dallas One Story selection explores the dangerously strained child welfare systems in Texas, and more specifically, what happens to children whose mothers are arrested. According to a series of investigations by The Dallas Morning News, children in North Texas and many other communities across the country are often overlooked by the workers and agencies designed to protect them. “While the moms may have committed crimes, the kids are innocent. Most were born and raised in tough circumstances they didn’t choose. When their mothers get locked up, the children often suffer.”

Staff writer Cary Aspinwall surveyed mothers in Texas prisons, interviewed jailers and law enforcement agencies and analyzed court documents to investigate the depth and scope of the child welfare crisis. The investigation published by the DMN in June includes multimedia and interactive story forms that accompany a harrowing narrative of one North Texas family’s fight to stay together. Aspinwall and her team will lead a panel discussion about their investigative process and how student journalists can put their skills to work for those who need it the most.