The Politics of Child Abuse in America (Child Welfare: A Series in Child Welfare Practice, Policy, and Research)

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9780195116687: The Politics of Child Abuse in America (Child Welfare: A Series in Child Welfare Practice, Policy, and Research)
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Child abuse policy in the United States contains dangerous contradictions, which have only intensified as the public slowly accepted it as a middle class problem. One contradiction is the rapidly expanding child abuse industry (made up of enterprising psychotherapists and attorneys) which is consuming enormous resources, while thousands of poor children are seriously injured or killed, many while being "protected" by public agencies. This "rediscovery" has also led to the frenzied pursuit of offenders, resulting in the sacrifice of some innocent people. Moreover, the media's focus on the sensational details of high-visibility sexual abuse cases has helped to trivialize, if not commercialize, the child abuse problem. As such, child abuse has gone from a social problem to a social spectacle.

By the 1980s the child welfare system had become a virtual "nonsystem," marked by a staggering turnover of staff, unmanageable caseloads, a severe shortage of funding, and caseloads composed of highly dysfunctional families (many with drug-related problems). To make room for these families, public agencies rationed services by increasingly screening-out child abuse reports which contained little likelihood of serious bodily harm.

In The Politics of Child Abuse in America, the authors argue that child abuse must be viewed as a public safety problem. This redefinition would make it congruent with other family-based social trends, including the crackdown on domestic violence. Children must have the same legal protection currently extended to physically and sexually abused women. This can be done by creating a "Children's Authority," which would have the overall charge for protecting children. Specifically, Children's Authorities would have the responsibility for providing the six main functions of child protection: investigation, enforcement, placement services, prevention and education, family support, and research and development.

Offering a unique perspective on the cold reality of this crisis, The Politics of Child Abuse in America will be a provocative work for social workers and human service personnel, as well as the general reader concerned with this timely issue.

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This book is extremely well-written and readable. It is powerful at the same time that it is scholarly and intellectually honest. The author provide a clear, integrated, conceptual historical perspective on the rise of the current child welfare system. They explain the concepts that have guided the system, past and present, and develop an overarching interpretive framework that fits the facts well while accounting for how the system has evolved toward the crisis that it is presently in. The authors jump right into today's heated debates, and emerge with their own unique entry to the current field of proposals for restructuring the system.

About the Author:


Lela B. Costin is Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois. Howard Jacob Karger is Professor of Social Work at the University of Houston. David Stoesz is Professor of Social Work at San Diego State University.

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9780195089301: The Politics of Child Abuse in America (Child welfare)

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ISBN 10:  0195089308 ISBN 13:  9780195089301
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1996
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Lela B. Costin, Howard Jacob Karger, David Stoesz
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The recent surge in reports of child abuse has led Costin, Karger, and Stoesz to examine whether our current responses to the problem are adequate. In this book they trace the cultural, social, and legal factors that have shaped the history of child abuse and responses to it since the 1870s. The public response to child abuse is detailed, from the creation of the first Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the late 19th century, to the relative consignment of child abuse cases to the courts in the early to mid 20th century, and finally to the clinical, individual-level approaches introduced in the 1960s and still practised today. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195116687

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The recent surge in reports of child abuse has led Costin, Karger, and Stoesz to examine whether our current responses to the problem are adequate. In this book they trace the cultural, social, and legal factors that have shaped the history of child abuse and responses to it since the 1870s. The public response to child abuse is detailed, from the creation of the first Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the late 19th century, to the relative consignment of child abuse cases to the courts in the early to mid 20th century, and finally to the clinical, individual-level approaches introduced in the 1960s and still practised today. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195116687

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