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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 183732 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Context of Child Abuse and Neglect: Balancing the Rights of Children and Parents in a Democratic Society (From Battered Child, Fifth Edition, P 61-72, 1997, Mary E. Helfer, Ruth S. Kempe, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-183728)
Author(s): Donald C. Bross Ph.D.
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
Publicity Manager
5801 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL
United States of America
Type: Collected Work
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The importance of healthy child-parent relationships in resolving some of of the most pressing social concerns, such as child abuse and neglect, requires consideration of family law issues.
Abstract: Situations frequently arise in which the character of individual child-parent legal relationships must be considered outside the confines of private family life, situations such as divorce, custody disputes, and reports of possible child maltreatment. Although the presumption of parental authority retains primacy, legal thinking is shifting from abstract principles of dominion and equity to practical issues of psychological and emotional attachment that involve determining who has been most important in caring for an individual child. Legal decisions are increasingly focusing on the adequacy of actual care afforded a child when disputes about the child's care arise. If parents do not actively and adequately care for their children, the presumption of their parental authority is deemed to be no longer enforceable. Only by assuring some access to society for all children can adequate care for children be assured by a democratic society. A framework for balancing parental rights of privacy and children's rights to accountability continues to develop. Additionally, mandatory child maltreatment reporting laws, health visitation programs, and public education help assure children's access to general social networks outside the home. When accountability for a child's care must be balanced against parental desire for privacy, any information necessary to determine if a child is physically and mentally safe must be made available. 16 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Child victims; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Crimes against children; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Parent-Child Relations; Parental rights; Rights of minors
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