Future Of Child Protection / Edition 1

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Lisa Steinberg. Elisa Izquierdo. Lance Helms. These are just a few of the names drawn from recent headlines, revealing cases of horrendous child abuse and neglect. Such cases have led to a crisis of confidence in the current child protective services (CPS) system, and to frequent calls for reform.

The public is right to be concerned, shows Jane Waldfogel, but many perceptions of the CPS system and the problems it is designed to alleviate are inaccurate. This book goes beyond the headlines, using historical, comparative, and specific case data to formulate a new approach to protecting children.

Currently, Waldfogel argues, the CPS system is overwhelmed by referrals. As a result, neither high-risk nor low-risk families are adequately served.

Waldfogel examines the underlying assumptions of CPS, compares the U.S. record with those of Britain, Canada, and Australia, and offers a "new paradigm" in which CPS joins with other public and private partners to provide a differential response to the broad range of children in need of protection. She highlights reforms underway in several states and in Britain.

This book's analytical clarity and straightforward policy recommendations will make it mandatory reading for policymakers, practitioners, and others interested in the future of child protection.

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Editorial Reviews

Neil Gilbert
Through a carefully balanced analysis, The Future of Child Protection advances the policy debate beyond the 'child abuse as a problem of poverty' and the 'criminalization of child abuse' perspectives in the current literature. Waldfogel develops a powerful case for the reform of the CPS system through a differential response model--a compelling alternative that policy makers are well-advised to study. The book is clearly written and the scholarship first-rate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674007239
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Waldfogel is Professor of Social Work and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
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Table of Contents

1. Child Abuse and Neglect Today

The Role of Child Protective Services

The Demographics of Children in Need of Protection

Consequences of Reporting

2. A Comparative Perspective

Operation of Child Protective Services

Sample Data

Criteria for Reporting

Procedures after Reporting

Differences in Outcome by Type of Reporter


Why Are U.S. Reporting Rates So High?

3. The Current Child Protective Services System


A Brief History of CPS

Underlying Assumptions

A Critical View of the System

Implications for a New Paradigm

4. Entry into the System

History of the Reporting Laws

The Reporting, Screening, and Investigation System

Reforming the Intake System


5. Narrowing as a Strategy to Improve Child Protection

The Case for Narrowing

What Would "Narrowing" Mean?

Evaluating the Case for Narrowing

How "Narrowing Plus" Might Be Accomplished

Unresolved Issues

6. Differential Response: A New Paradigm for Child Protective Services

Paradigms for Child Protective Services

The Diversity and Complexity of Families Referred to CPS

Features of the Differential Response Paradigm

Moving to Differential Response

7. Working Together: Child Protection Reform in Britain

The Development of the British CPS System

The Impetus for Reform

The Children Act of 1989

Beyond the Children Act

8. Changing Frontline Practice

Implications of the New Paradigm

Lessons from Earlier Initiatives to Change

Frontline Practice

How States and Localities Can Help

9. Reforming Child Protection

The Current Child Protective Services System

A New Paradigm for Child Protection

Moving toward a More Fully Differentiated System

Improving the Effectiveness of the CPS

System's Response

Increasing the Role of Community Partners in Child Protection

The Endpoint of the Reforms



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