Child Welfare

August 26, 2016 • Volume 26, Issue 29
Should more be done to protect children?
By Christina L. Lyons

Introduction

Meredith Hengel and her 5-year-old son Josh (Getty Images/Kansas City Star/TNS/Jill Toyoshiba)
Meredith Hengel and her husband didn't know the extent of the abuse or neglect their 5-year-old son Josh had experienced before they adopted him. To help him adapt to his new home, the Grain Valley, Mo., couple enrolled Josh in trauma-focused parent-child interaction therapy. (Getty Images/Kansas City Star/TNS/Jill Toyoshiba)

Child abuse and a foster care system rocked by scandal continue to garner national headlines. At last count, in 2014, more than 700,000 American children were victims of abuse or neglect, and nearly 1,600 died. Some experts say caseworkers often are too willing to leave children with their biological parents in abusive homes in an effort to keep families together. Others say, however, that while many foster parents do a good job, too many children suffer from abuse, neglect or sexual exploitation in foster homes. Social workers, child advocates and researchers are trying to determine how child welfare agencies can better prevent abuse or rescue children suffering from it. A national commission has called for more prevention research, and Congress is considering helping states pay for family counseling and other services to help children at risk of harm. Meanwhile, some communities are experimenting with the use of “big data” algorithms to help identify which children are most at risk of abuse.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Child Abuse
Aug. 26, 2016  Child Welfare
Aug. 31, 2001  Children in Crisis
Jan. 15, 1993  Child Sexual Abuse
Sep. 18, 1987  Child Sexual Abuse
Jan. 30, 1976  Child Abuse
May 12, 1965  Child Abuse: Search for Remedies
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Adoption
Child Abuse
Children
Crime and Law Enforcement
Criminal Law Procedure and Due Process
Tribal Government
Violence and the Family