The Best Interests of the Child: The Least Detrimental Alternative

The Best Interests of the Child: The Least Detrimental Alternative

by Joseph Goldstein, Albert J. Solnit, Sonja Goldstein, Anna Freud
     
 

What principles should guide the courts in deciding the fate of hundreds of thousands of children involved every year in parental divorces and family breakdowns? What should justify state intrusion on the privacy of family relationships? How should professionals - judges, lawyers, social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists - conduct themselves in pursuing "the… See more details below

Overview

What principles should guide the courts in deciding the fate of hundreds of thousands of children involved every year in parental divorces and family breakdowns? What should justify state intrusion on the privacy of family relationships? How should professionals - judges, lawyers, social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists - conduct themselves in pursuing "the best interests" of children who have been abandoned, neglected, or abused? The agonizing dilemmas posed by these three questions were the subject of one of the seminal publishing events in the history of The Free press. The result has been a set of historic guidelines which forms the basis of their landmark trilogy Beyond the Best Interests of the Child, Before the Best Interests of the Child, and In the Best Interests of the Child, published between 1973 and 1986. The authors speak in one voice in concluding that the continuity of care - continuity of a child's relationship with his or her adult caregiver - is a universal essential to the child's well-being. To this end, they stress that minimizing intrusions by the law is paramount to safeguarding the child's growth and development. "The least detrimental alternative" - the authors overarching guideline for assuring the continuity of the psychological parent-child relationship - has been cited in more than a thousand child custody cases since 1973.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684835464
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
02/08/1998
Edition description:
Revised and Updated
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
816,446
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1The Problem and Our Premises3
Pt. 2Guidelines and Their Implications for the Laws of Child Placement17
Pt. 3The Guidelines Applied63
Pt. 4Examining Our Premises79
Pt. 5The Problem, Our Convictions, and a Framework for Examining State Decisions to Intrude on Parent-Child Relationships85
Pt. 6Ground for Intervention99
Pt. 7The Professional and Child Placement151
Pt. 8The Ambit of Professional Competence163
Pt. 9The Compleat Professional223
Reflections225
"We Want Our Children Back": Transcript of ABC News 20/20 (August 18, 1995)229
Preface to Beyond the Best Interests of the Child235
Preface to Before the Best Interests of the Child237
Preface to In the Best Interests of the Child238
Acknowledgments to Earlier Volumes240
Notes243
Index297

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