Child Protection in America: Past, Present, and Future

Hardcover | November 29, 2006

byJohn E. B. Myers

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Child abuse and neglect are intractable problems exacting a terrible toll on children and rending the very fabric of our society. What can be done to reduce the suffering? If there were simple solutions to abuse and neglect they would have been discovered long ago. There are no easyanswers, but in this vivid history of child protection in America, John E.B. Myers introduces realistic policies that will reduce maltreatment and strengthen the system that protects our children. Before it is possible to design viable improvements in today's system, it is necessary to understand how it evolved. The sweeping, beautifully written account of child protection in America traces its growth from colonial days to the present--from the rise and gradual disappearance of orphanages,the growth of foster care, the birth of organized child protection in 1874, and the rise of private societies to prevent cruelty, to the twentieth-century transition to government-operated child protection.Myers goes on to describe the principal causes of child maltreatment, including intergenerational transmission of violence, poverty, substance abuse, cultural violence, excessive corporal punishment, sexual deviance, evolution, mental illness, and domestic violence. Once the causes of maltreatmentare clear, it is possible to create solutions. Some of the proposals outlined have been in play for more than a century, while others are new. Policies to combat poverty, expand nurse home visiting programs, increase access to day care, strengthen a sense of community, outlaw corporal punishment,rethink our attitude toward alcohol, and lower the toxicity in popular culture are rooted in a deep understanding of the cycle of violence and challenge traditional ways of thinking.Since it will never be possible to prevent all maltreatment, it is critical to strengthen the existing child protection system. Attainable reforms such as dealing with the lingering effects of racism in the child welfare, reworking funding mechanisms, refocusing leadership, creating a lessadversarial system, strengthening foster care, and reinventing the juvenile court point to flaws in our system but demonstrate that progress is possible.This provocative book will challenge all those concerned with children's welfare to move toward real solutions that will make life better for America's most vulnerable children.

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Child abuse and neglect are intractable problems exacting a terrible toll on children and rending the very fabric of our society. What can be done to reduce the suffering? If there were simple solutions to abuse and neglect they would have been discovered long ago. There are no easyanswers, but in this vivid history of child protect...

John E. B. Myers is one of the nation's leading authorities on legal aspects of child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 6.18 × 9.29 × 0.98 inPublished:November 29, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195169352

ISBN - 13:9780195169355

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Table of Contents

Part I The Road Traveled: The History of Child Protection in America1. Child Protection from the Colonial Period to 18752. Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children3. Child Protection from 1900 to 19624. Child Protection from 1962 to Present5. Child Sexual AbusePart II The Road Ahead: Child Protection Today, Causes of Child Abuse and Neglect, Roadblocks to Progress, Reducing Maltreatment, Improving Child Protection6. Causes of Child Abuse and Neglect7. Reducing Abuse and Neglect8. Improving the Child Protection System

Editorial Reviews

"This compelling work traces child protection efforts from early colonial America to the present...Social workers and social work educators will find this work valuable, especially in its explanation of various organizations and larger-than-life reformers...all pivotal to this subject'shistory."--Doody's