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NCJ Number: 52242 Find in a Library
Title: INTERDISCIPLINARY MANAGEMENT OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Journal: PEDIATRIC ANNALS  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1976)  Pages:114-128
Author(s): G D FISHER
Corporate Author: Insight Publishing Co, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Insight Publishing Co, Inc
New York, NY 10022
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE LEGAL STRUCTURE FOR DEALING WITH CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT IS DISCUSSED UNDER THREE CATEGORIES: CRIMINAL LAWS, CHILD-ABUSE REPORTING LAWS, AND ADOPTION LAWS.
Abstract: IT IS NOTED THAT CRIMINAL LAWS RELEVANT TO CHILD ABUSE DO NOT, IN MOST CASES, FOCUS SPECIFICALLY ON THE MISTREATMENT OF CHILDREN, BUT APPLY TO INJURIES DONE TO ANY PERSON BY ANOTHER. CRIMINAL CODES PROHIBITING MURDER, MANSLAUGHTER, ASSAULT, BATTERY, FORNICATION, AND PROSTITUTION ARE MENTIONED AS APPLICABLE TO MOST FORMS OF SEVERE CHILD ABUSE. CHILD NEGLECT IS INDICATED TO BE MORE DIFFICULT TO PROSECUTE UNDER CRIMINAL CODES BECAUSE OF THE REQUIREMENT TO PROVE WILLFUL INTENT. WHILE THE USE OF THE CRIMINAL LAW AGAINST ABUSIVE PARENTS CAN FORCIBLY STOP FURTHER ABUSE AND PLACE ABUSIVE PARENTS IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT THAN MAY AID REHABILITATION, IT IS INDICATED THAT HIGH RECIDIVISM RATES AMONG CHILD ABUSERS AND A RELUCTANCE BY PARENTS TO SEEK TREATMENT OUT OF FEAR OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTION RENDERS CRIMINAL LAWS LARGELY INEFFECTIVE IN DETERRING AND REHABILITATING CHILD ABUSERS. CHILD-ABUSE REPORTING LAWS, WHICH ARE CIVIL IN NATURE, ARE DISCUSSED AS TOOLS FOR STIMULATING THE EXPANDED IDENTIFICATION OF INCIDENTS OF CHILD ABUSE BY REQUIRING CERTAIN PROFESSIONAL GROUPS, NOTABLY PHYSICIANS, TO REPORT TO POLICE OR CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES CASES OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE. THE GENERAL FORMAT AND OPERATION OF THESE LAWS IN THE STATES ARE DESCRIBED. PROCEDURAL CONFUSIONS, LACK OF ADEQUATE PROGRAMS OF FOLLOWUP BASED ON REPORTING, AND THE CONTINUED RELUCTANCE OF PHYSICIANS TO REPORT SUSPECTED ABUSES ARE CONSIDERED TO HAMPER THE EFFECTIVENESS OF REPORTING LAWS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD OF ENCOURAGING REPORTING BY PROFESSIONALS IS THE USE OF THE INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM APPROACH, WHERE PHYSICIANS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, PSYCHIATRISTS, NURSES, SOCIAL WORKERS, LAWYERS, POLICE, CLERGY, AND TEACHERS ARE BROUGHT TOGETHER AS A TEAM TO CONSIDER SPECIFIC CASES ON THE BASIS OF PRESENTED INJURIES, HISTORIES, OR INCONSISTENCIES. ADOPTION LAWS PROVIDE FOR THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS IN RELATION TO CUSTODY OF AND CONTACT WITH A CHILD. WHILE THIS ACTION MAY BE EMPLOYED IN SEVERE CASES OF CHILD ABUSE, IT IS NOTED THAT THE COURTS HAVE GENERALLY BEEN RELUCTANT TO INVOLUNTARILY TERMINATE PARENTAL RIGHTS. THE APPOINTMENT OF A GUARDIAN AD LITEM, AND THE GENERAL ROLE OF LAWYERS FOR BOTH PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN CHILD ABUSE CASES ARE ALSO DISCUSSED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse reporting; Criminal codes; Critiques; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52242

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