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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 10, 2005

Stephen M. Krason
Pages 215-231
DOI: 10.5840/cssr20051016

Child Abuse and Neglect: Failed Policy and Assault on Innocent Parents

This paper is a modified version of a talk presented by the author at the SCSS’s Capitol Hill Luncheon-Seminar on “Defending the Family,” at the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C., April 23, 2004. It is an updated examination of the subject in question since the author’s lengthy and more comprehensive article on the subject in the SCSS’s 1998 anthology, Defending the Family; A Sourcebook (which is still available from the Franciscan University Bookstore, Steubenville, Ohio 43952). Like the earlier article, it shows that the problem of false allegations of child abuse and neglect against parents continues to be massive. It identifies vague laws, attitudes of operatives in the child protective system, the ease of making reports, and the legal immunity of protective system operatives as the main reasons for this. It discusses the threats to children and innocent families posed by the system. It finds the limited protections for parents written into recent federal law an encouraging development, but points out that parents still have relatively few rights in the face of the system. It presents the case as to why the current child protective system is fundamentally flawed and should be eliminated in favor of a different approach to protecting children from true abuse and neglect.

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