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NCJ Number: 192474 Find in a Library
Title: Defending Motherhood: Battered Women Losing Their Children to Our Child Protection System
Journal: Children's Legal Rights Journal  Volume:21  Issue:3  Dated:Fall 2001  Pages:17-24
Author(s): Mary Raines
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines how domestic violence affects the rights of battered mothers involved in juvenile court proceedings in Illinois. Special attention is given to the termination of parental rights.
Abstract: In Part 1 of the paper, parental violence is defined and the effects of spousal abuse on battered mothers and their children is reviewed. Part 2 looks at the role of Illinois law regarding children from violent homes—from temporary custody through adjudication and ending with the termination of parental rights. Part 2 also focuses on the development of Illinois case law in the area of child protection and domestic violence. Part 3 addresses the increasing need for changes in this area of Illinois law, specifically in cases where the child protection system is faced with protecting children from domestic violence while also ensuring a non-abusive, battered mother maintains custody. In addition, Part 3 highlights a number of successful programs throughout the country that have reduced the number of battered women who lose parental rights. The author argues that Illinois should model its child protection system on these successful programs. Domestic violence results in the permanent separation of children from their mothers. A number of courts terminate a battered mother’s parental rights based on her inability to protect her children from harm. But this may not be in the best interests of the children. Educating child protection workers and judges on the dynamics of domestic violence would help ensure that all non-abusive family members remain together and separate from batterers.
Main Term(s): Children of battered women
Index Term(s): Battered wives; Child abuse investigations; Child abuse prevention; Child abuse situation remedies; Child abuse treatment; Child custody; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Child protection laws; Child protection services; Childcare worker casework; Children of battered women; Domestic relations; Family courts; Parental rights
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