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NCJ Number: 49042 Find in a Library
Title: FAMILY COURT IN AN URBAN SETTING (FROM HELPING THE BATTERED CHILD AND HIS FAMILY, 1972, BY C HENRY KEMPE AND RAY E HELFER - SEE NCJ-15310)
Author(s): J W POLIER; K MCDONALD
Corporate Author: J B Lippincott
United States of America
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: J B Lippincott
Philadelphia, PA 19105
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SHORTCOMINGS IN THE HANDLING OF CHILD ABUSE CASES IN NEW YORK, N.Y., ARE POINTED OUT, WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY COURT.
Abstract: IN LARGE CITIES, DEPERSONALIZATION BOTH ACCENTUATES THE PROBLEMS OF PARENTS WHO ABUSE THEIR CHILDREN AND PERVADES THE INSTITUTIONS INTENDED TO DEAL WITH CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. ANALYSIS OF COURT AND CHILD CARE AGENCY STATISTICS AND CASE REPORTS REVEALS THE INADEQUACIES OF NEW YORK CITY'S SYSTEM FOR PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT. ONE PROBLEM APPEARS TO BE THE FAILURE OF ANY SINGLE AGENCY TO ACCEPT FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WORKING WITH PARENTS TOWARD THE RETURN OF A CHILD WHO HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM HIS OR HER NATURAL HOME BY THE COURTS. ONCE A CHILD IS PLACED BY THE COURT IN A CHILD CARE AGENCY, THE CARE OF THE CHILD AND NOT THE PROBLEMS OF THE PARENTS BECOMES THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. THERE IS ALSO EVIDENCE THAT IN SOME CASES CLUES THAT AN ABUSIVE SITUATION EXISTS IN A FAMILY, AND AT TIMES EVEN DIRECT REQUESTS FOR HELP, ARE IGNORED. NEW YORK CITY NEEDS TO CLARIFY ITS GOAL IN THE HANDLING OF CHILD ABUSE. THAT GOAL MUST BE THE CREATION OF SERVICES THAT WILL PREVENT ABUSE WHEREVER POSSIBLE AND SERVICES TO TREAT THE WHOLE FAMILY WHEN ABUSE HAS OCCURRED. A PROGRAM OF OUTREACH SERVICES BY PHYSICIANS, WELL BABY CENTERS, DAY CARE CENTERS, SCHOOLS, SOCIAL AGENCIES, AND HOSPITALS IS NEEDED TO IDENTIFY VULNERABLE FAMILIES AND PROVIDE THEM WITH TIMELY HELP. OUTREACH WORKERS WILL NEED TO DEVELOP SKILLS IN IDENTIFYING PARENTS WHO REQUIRE SPECIAL ATTENTION AND IN BREAKING THROUGH THE ISOLATION THAT COMMONLY SURROUNDS ABUSIVE PARENTS. ONCE FAMILIES IN NEED HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED, THE APPROPRIATE SERVICES MUST BE AVAILABLE. TOWARD THIS END, COMMUNITY INSISTENCE ON ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR SUCH SERVICES IS NECESSARY. INTERIM STEPS THAT CAN BE TAKEN BY NEW YORK CITY TO IMPROVE ITS HANDLING OF CHILD ABUSE CASES (DEVELOPING A CENTRALIZED REGISTRY OF CHILD ABUSE REPORTS, PROVIDING SANCTIONS AGAINST PERSONS WHO FAIL TO REPORT ABUSE, DECENTRALIZING PROTECTIVE SERVICES, ETC.) ARE SUGGESTED. IT IS STRESSED THAT THE EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL AUTHORITY IN CHILD ABUSE CASES MUST BE SEEN AS A PROCEDURE INVOKED TO DETERMINE WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REHABILITATE THE FAMILY OR, IF THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE, TO TERMINATE PARENTAL RIGHTS. REMOVING A CHILD INDEFINITELY FROM HIS OR HER HOME MUST NOT BE REGARDED AS AN ADEQUATE FINAL DISPOSITION. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS INCLUDED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Family courts; Juvenile courts; New York; Services; Urban area studies
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