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NCJ Number: 98829 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Framework for Child Protection (From Social Work Treatment with Abused and Neglected Children, P 148-167, 1985, Chris M Mouzakitis and Raju Varghese, ed. - See NCJ-98826)
Author(s): D J Besharov
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Changes in the legal and protective services frameworks for processing child maltreatment cases between 1960 and the present are reviewed.
Abstract: While child abuse and neglect are not new phenomena, they remained largely unreported, underestimated, and hidden from the public view until the 1960's, when mandatory reporting laws were enacted in all 50 States. These laws, and associated public awareness campaigns, have been strikingly effective in increasing the number of children who come to the attention of public authorities. Similarly, in the 1960's, there were few programs to investigate reports of suspected child maltreatment. Investigative authority was fragmented and blurred, and reports were passed from agency to agency. As late as 1973, only a handful of States had coordinated reporting and investigative services. Now almost all States have specialized child protective services which offer a variety of therapeutic responses to child maltreatment. While the juvenile court system initially was established as a largely social service-oriented agency, recent emphasis on the rights of both juveniles and adults within the system have contributed to a judicialization and increased formality in juvenile court proceedings. While this has not reduced the court's role, it has reduced its centrality; those cases now coming before the juvenile courts are often the most severe and require speedy action. The formalization of child protective responsibilities and judicialization of proceedings have required today's social workers to master a series of new investigative, legal, and administrative skills. New laws, agencies, and roles necessitate changes in attitudes, operating procedures, and personnel. Child protective professionals from all disciplines must be ready to channel these changes in constructive directions as society seeks to improve further its ability to protect abused and neglected children. Included are 72 references.
Index Term(s): Case processing; Child abuse; Child abuse and neglect hearings; Child abuse investigations; Child abuse reporting; Child protection services; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Juvenile justice reform; Social worker casework
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