Child Protection From 1962 to the Present

John E. B. Myers

in Child Protection in America

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169355
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893348 | DOI:
Child Protection From 1962 to the Present

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This chapter describes the formation of the modern child protection system. The most critical date in the process was 1962, when pediatrician Henry Kempe and his colleagues published their seminal article describing “The Battered Child Syndrome.” Kempe agitated for a more robust response to child abuse, and became an effective spokesperson for the renaissance of interest in child abuse and neglect in the 1960s and 1970s. The law of every state requires professionals to report suspicions of child abuse to authorities, and this chapter describes the creation of reporting laws in the 1960s. Prior to the 1970s, the federal government played a useful but minor role in child welfare and protection. In 1974, Congress assumed a leadership role with passage of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). CAPTA was followed by additional federal laws, especially the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, and the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. By the 1980s, the government-funded and -operated child protection familiar to us today was in place.

Keywords: Henry Kempe; reporting laws; Battered Child Syndrome; child protection; Child Abuse Prevention; Child Welfare Act; Multiethnic Placement Act; Safe Families Act

Chapter.  9350 words.  Illustrated.

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