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A Historical Analysis Of Child Welfare In The United States

1757 words - 8 pages

Life in the United States has been difficult for many children. Statistically speaking, there are four children who are killed by abuse each day (Allyn & Bacon, 2011). With numbers increasing over the years change is something that is starting to take place. There are many things that will affect the child welfare system in the future, such as the economic policies, political views, and the current policies set in place (child welfare information). The reason for the child welfare system is to help the children who are getting abused. In the past, there was not a policy set in place; however, this is beginning to change. One of the systems that have been set in place is the Children’s Bureau, an organization that does studies on the mental health of abused children (Thomas, 2012). Although this organization has no authority to develop federal regulations, they are one of the largest agency leaders in child welfare (Thomas, 2012). There are many problems with the economy and government that make it hard to maintain the child welfare system.
In the 1900’s the child welfare system is something that didn’t really exist. Although there were people who believed it was not good to abuse children, it was not enforced because of how common it was at the time (Alvord). It was not until the end of the 19th century that the upper class started to see the rights of children and wanted them to be treated with a certain level of care. They then believed it was the responsibility of the government to intervene when a child was treated unfairly. This is also when the Child Rescue Movement was set in place. The purpose of this movement was to protect children and make sure they were not being treated cruelly. The child welfare system originated from what was known as The Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a law enforcement group that helped protect children ( Allyn & Bacon, 2011).

Awareness of abuse in the United States, because of the Children’s Bureau and Child Protective Services, has been increased. The number of reported cases has gone from 9,563 cases to about 3 million cases sense 1967 (Allyn & Bacon, 2011). The problem with the increase in cases is that the child welfare system is blamed whenever a mistake is made. Many people in the political world believe that all families must be kept together; however, this cannot always happen. There is a group called Victims of Child Abuse Laws that wants to see parents become more active in the child welfare system (Allyn & Bacon, 2011). Although getting birth parents and parents involved in the child welfare system would be great, I believe that it could discourage many people that want to adopt. Many adoptive parents have, what is called, closed adoption; this is when the state seals the child’s record taking away the birth parents natural rights. This allows privacy for the family and the right to give the child limited information, even though this can have negative long term effects. ...

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