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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98632 Find in a Library
Title: Child Abuse and Neglect - A Survey of the Law (United States of America) (From Child Abuse, P 31-59, 1984, A Carmi and H Zimrin, ed.)
Author(s): A Schwartz; H L Hirsh
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Springer-Verlag
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Sale Source: Springer-Verlag
44 Hartz Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
United States of America
Language: English
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: After presenting brief histories of child maltreatment and the development of the parens patriae doctrine, this paper reviews societal factors that compound the problem of child abuse, outlines State child abuse reporting statutes and other legal issues in child abuse cases, and portrays some child abuse programs and policies.
Abstract: Societal factors said to compound the problem of child abuse are parental expectations and physical punishment, children's vulnerability, physicians' failure to report suspected abuse, and deteriorating social services. An overview of the components of State child abuse reporting statutes considers the purpose clause, defining child abuse and neglect, and mandatory reporting. Another legal issue addressed is the waiver of the right to privileged communications in child abuse cases, notably between physician and patient, husband and wife, social worker and client, as well as attorney and client. A brief description of a central register for reported cases of child abuse includes consideration of access to the register. Other topics reviewed include the courts' jurisdiction in child abuse cases, neglect proceedings, custody and guardianship, evidentiary issues, and the right to counsel for both child victims and parents in judicial proceedings. Legislation dealing with corporal punishment in public schools is also briefly reviewed. Remedial programs and policies described are (1) the involvement of physicians in a preventive role, (2) mass media public education, (3) parental stress centers, (4) lay therapists, (5) crisis nurseries, and (6) Parents Anonymous groups. Policy approaches recommended are addressing changes in social attitudes to discourage child abuse and ensuring the adequate representation of all class and ethnic groups in decisionmaking forums. Seventeen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse registers; Child abuse reporting; Child abuse reporting statutes; Parens patriae
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