Chapter

Dealing with Child Abuse, the Red Herring of Child Welfare

Duncan Lindsey

in The Welfare of Children

Second edition

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780195136715
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894079 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136715.003.0008
Dealing with Child Abuse, the Red Herring of Child Welfare

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This chapter questions the soundness of child abuse remaining the principal focus of decision-making. It describes how efforts to protect children from alleged physical and sexual assault have absorbed virtually all the resources of the child welfare system. It argues that the proper place for the investigation and prosecution of the physical and sexual assault of children is with the police and judicial system. If the police were to play their appropriate role, the child welfare system could return to its original mandate: serving disadvantaged and deprived children. Child welfare social workers lack the investigative training and coercive authority required to deal with the physical and sexual assault of children. Placing responsibility for protection from abuse with child welfare mires the profession in a morass it cannot solve.

Keywords: child welfare system; child abuse; social workers; child protection

Chapter.  9064 words.  Illustrated.

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