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NCJ Number: 52293 Find in a Library
Title: CASEWORKER AND JUDGE IN NEGLECT CASES
Author(s): R M MULFORD; V B WYLEGALA; E F MELSON
Corporate Author: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
1726 M St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A CHILD NEGLECT CASEWORKER MUST HAVE A KNOWLEDGE OF THE NEGLECT LAWS ADEQUATE FOR THE PROPER GATHERING OF EVIDENCE AND FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CASEWORKER AS AN EXPERT FOR TESTIMONY IN COURT.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH MOST CHILD PROTECTIVE AGENCIES RARELY FIND IT NECESSARY TO UTILIZE THE COURT SYSTEM IN THEIR ATTEMPTS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN MANDATES THAT CASEWORKERS HAVE A BASIC FAMILIARITY WITH THE LAWS OF CHILD NEGLECT AND THE PROCEDURES OF THE COURTS. THE CASEWORKER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE LEGAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FACTORS WHICH ARE NATURALLY OBSERVED DURING ROUTINE INSPECTION OF A HOME. SUCH ITEMS AS CLEANLINESS AND APPARENT HEALTH OF INDIVIDUALS HAVE IMPORTANCE FROM THE IMMEDIATE VANTAGE OF THE WELFARE OF THE CHILDREN, AND FROM THEIR SIGNIFICANCE AS EVIDENCE IN ANY REQUIRED LITIGATION. THE CASEWORKER OUGHT TO RECORD THE SPECIFIC DETAILS OF HER OBSERVATIONS, ALTHOUGH THE EMPHASIS OF THE CASEWORKER'S VISITS SHOULD BE PLACED ON ENCOURAGING THE FAMILY TO RECOGNIZE ITS PROBLEMS AND CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, AND NOT TO MAKE THE FAMILY DEFENSIVE AND ANTAGNOSTIC. THE CASEWORKER SHOULD HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE AGENCY BOTH IN PREPARATION OF CASES FOR COURT, AND IN MAINTAINING A RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COURT. IF A CASEWORKER'S EFFORTS WITHIN THE HOME SITUATION HAVE PRODUCED NO RESULTS, THE CASEWORKER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE PROCEDURES FOR COMMENCING COURT ACTION. THE JUVENILE COURT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A SOCIOLEGAL AGENCY WHICH HAS THE POWER TO COMPEL ITS CLIENTS TO ACCEPT THE SOCIAL REHABILITATION THEY NEED OR TO REMOVE THE CHILD FROM THE HOME. CHILDREN CAN BE EFFECTIVELY PROTECTED BY A WELL-PREPARED CASEWORKER WHO CAN PRESENT A CLEAR CONCLUSIVE CASE IN COURT. JUVENILE COURTS ARE NOT BOUND BY THE TECHNICALITIES AND EVIDENTIARY RULES PRESENT IN CRIMINAL COURTS, AND WILL ALLOW MEDICAL AND SCHOOL RECORDS TO BE PRESENTED BY THE CASEWORKER WHEN SUCH DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN PROPERLY CERTIFIED. ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION CONCERNS THE TRANSPOSITION OF A CASEWORKER'S BELIEF THAT A NEGLECT CASE EXISTS INTO A PRESENTABLE LEGAL CASE. (TWK)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Juvenile courts; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Social work; Social workers; Testimony
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52293

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