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NCJ Number: 98831 Find in a Library
Title: National and Local Responses to Child Abuse During the Past Century (From Social Work Treatment With Abused and Neglected Children, P 359-373, 1985, Chris M Mouzakitis and Raju Varghese, ed. - See NCJ-98826)
Author(s): A H Cohn
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 14
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: The purpose of this chapter is to review how social values, public awareness, economic circumstances, and other social and political factors have influenced child abuse-related actions over the past century.
Abstract: Organized efforts to respond to the problem of child abuse and neglect can be traced back to 1874 when church workers had a badly abused child removed from the home on the grounds that cruelty to animals was illegal. Public outrage over this case led to the founding of societies for the prevention of cruelty to children. In 1912, the Children's Bureau was established, and in 1935 Government grants became available for the protection of children. Extensive media coverage of the battered child syndrome in the 1960's facilitated the mandating of child abuse reporting, and in 1974 the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was passed. The impact of Federal legislation has been apparent at the Federal, State, and local levels. During the 1970's State after State strengthened their reporting laws and procedures for investigating and managing reported cases. State and Federal grants have strengthened programs at the community level. Private national organizations have given further impetus to child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment. Overall, the response in the United States has been characterized by an emphasis on detection, intervention, and treatment. State reporting laws and court proceedings for alleged child abuse have been perfected, training manuals for professionals have been developed, protective services have been expanded and public awareness of the problem and its magnitude has increased. During the 1970's, reports of child abuse and neglect have doubled. Many experts feel that this increase reflects a real rise in the incidence of child abuse and neglect rather than merely increased reporting and awareness. Reasons for this increase include societal values about children, economic conditions (including unemployment and increased economic stress), funding patterns for programs, the type and level of public awareness of the problem, lack of private sector involvement, and the absence of a nationwide focus on prevention. This latter is particularly important, and greater interest in prevention is being shown as knowledge of child abuse increases. Preventive measures could include early screening and intervention, provision of child care services, programs for abused children, life skills training, self-help groups, and family support and education services. Provided are 41 references.
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse detection; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; Child abuse reporting; Child protection services; Crime Causes; Crime prevention measures; Law reform; Policy analysis; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Services
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