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Child Protection in AmericaPast, Present, and Future$
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John E. B. Myers

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169355.001.0001

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Improving The Child Protection System

Improving The Child Protection System

(p.173) 8 Improving The Child Protection System
Child Protection in America

John E. B. Myers

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 describes broad societal changes to reduce child maltreatment. Even if such changes are implemented, some abuse and neglect will occur, and this chapter makes specific recommendations to improve the existing child protection system. It critiques reform proposals by leading scholars on child protection including Duncan Lindsey, Leroy Pelton, and Elizabeth Bartholet. It addresses the lingering effects of racism on decision making in child protection. It argues that one of the primary weaknesses of today's child protection is that no single profession is clearly in charge of child protection. Claims to leadership are made by physicians, mental health professionals, lawyers, and social workers. The chapter asserts that social work must be at the helm, but that social work — particularly social work education — has abdicated its leadership role. It argues for a less adversarial child protection system. In a similar vein, it advocates changes to laws requiring professionals to report suspected maltreatment. It offers recommendations to strengthen foster care, including the new type of foster care called Temporary Permanent Attachment Care (TEPAC). The chapter ends with a controversial proposal to reinvigorate America's juvenile courts.

Keywords:   Duncan Lindsey, Leroy Pelton, Elizabeth Bartholet, foster care, juvenile court, child protection, social work education, child abuse reporting

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