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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98553 Find in a Library
Title: Sociolegal Approaches for Helping Assaulted Children and Their Families (From Assault Against Children, P 117-140, 1985, John H Meier, ed. See NCJ-98549)
Author(s): D Gallinger; J H Meier; J Carney
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: College-Hill Press
San Diego, CA 92105
Sale Source: College-Hill Press
4284 41st Street
San Diego, CA 92105
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reviews the roles that legal and social service professionals play at every step in the process of dealing with the assaulted child, with attention to courtroom procedures, removal from the home, and alternative placements.
Abstract: Even before an assault appears on the courtroom agenda, it has been affected by current legislation. In the case of a verified report, the investigating professionals must immediately make a decision whether to take temporary custody of the child. If they recommend removal from the home, the case proceeds to the courtroom. The paper examines criteria regarding what factors indicate removal may be necessary and the need for a guardian ad litem in court. A review of proposed reforms to improve these procedures covers development of consistent guidelines for removal, systems of accountability so children are not misrepresented, and better case management systems. The paper surveys provisions of the U.S. Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (P.L. 96-272) governing permanency planning and describes their impact on social workers' and lawyers' responsibilities. The positive and negative aspects of the following placement options are discussed; reunification, which is the least disruptive, but may place the child at risk of future assault; adoption, the most permanent but often most difficult option to achieve; foster-adoptive care, a foster care placement with adoptive potential; foster care; and residential care. The author emphasizes large foster care-residential care centers because many assaulted children need the services offered by such programs. Reforms are suggested for all placement alternatives.
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse investigations; Child abuse situation remedies; Child protection laws; Law reform
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