Telling Stories About Youth at Risk

photo courtesy Pixelbay
photo courtesy Pixelbay

The Lear Center’s Hollywood, Health & Society project presented a panel discussion for TV writers and producers on “Youth at Risk.” Screenwriter Antwone Fisher made opening remarks.

Infants, children and teens face critical problems under the best of circumstances, but many face more than their share. Some infants suffer from disease and disabilities from birth. Older children suffer abuse by parents and other adults or violence at school. Teens run the added risk of sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse and gang or dating violence that threatens their well-being.

Nowhere are these problems more dramatic than among the 500,000 youth in our country’s foster care system. Removed from their families in the hopes of finding a more stable future, these children are at the greatest risk of trauma, medical and mental health problems, teen pregnancy and substance abuse. Can we keep them from falling through the cracks before it’s too late? What challenges do writers face in telling their stories?


  • Berisha Black – former foster child; ombudsman, LA County Department of Children and Family Services
  • Neal Kaufman, MD, MPH – commissioner, First Five LA; professor of Pediatrics and Public Health, UCLA
  • Miriam Krinsky, JD – executive director, Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles
  • Danielle Poland – former foster child; student, California State Fullerton
  • Curren Warf, MD – medical director, High Risk Youth Program, USC Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

The discussion will be moderated by Victoria Riskin, past president, WGAw

June 29, 2004
7:00 pm
WGAw Multipurpose Room
7000 West Third Street, Los Angeles

This event was co-sponsored by the WGAw, the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles and Hollywood, Health & Society, a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.