Why Does Child Maltreatment Laws Exist

Douglas and McCarthy (2011) report that the focus of review teams on paediatric deaths varies considerably from state to state, although most teams focus on deaths due to child maltreatment and neglect. In addition, there is little consistency in the content areas in the legislation creating such teams. The most common content areas included in state laws are team composition (93.4%), privacy concerns (86.9%), review results (86.9%), team focus (95.6%), and team selection of cases (58.7%) (Douglas & McCarthy, 2011). A statute of limitations is the time limit for filing a lawsuit. Most prosecutions must be initiated within a certain period of time from the time the crime was committed or discovered. The limitation period varies from state to state and claims the claim. They also differ for criminal and civil prosecutions. States also differ in how they classify types of abuse. Visit your state government`s website to find out about your state`s regulations.

You can also learn more and see a list of regulations by state to www.sol-reform.com. While the scope of what constitutes „policy“ encompasses both laws and regulations, protocols, etc. of government agencies, this chapter deals primarily with the development of federal and state laws on child abuse and neglect as they affect knowledge and practice. Regulations and protocols are typical outcomes of the process of implementing laws at the national and local levels. However, non-statutory „political“ reform may also be of national importance. One example is the policy reform recommendations made by the American Advisory Council on Child Abuse and Neglect in the early to mid-1990s. The recent National Incidence Study (NIS-4) provides evidence that professionals may not recognize abuse and neglect in some cases and recognize signs of abuse and neglect in others, but not report them (Sedlak et al., 2010). School professionals reported suspected abuse and neglect less often than other professionals (Sedlak et al., 2010). Sentinels who received training on reporting laws and procedures reported suspected child abuse and neglect more frequently than those who did not (Sedlak et al., 2010), suggesting that additional training of commonly mandated reporting staff would increase reporting. Given this complexity, the research design required to evaluate laws and policies is not always the same as that which would be used to evaluate practical interventions. While some laws and policies can be evaluated by random assignment (for example, by examining the differentiated intervention approach of social services to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect), random assignment cannot be used if it affects citizens` legal rights differently, exposes citizens to unequal treatment before the law, or puts children at risk. In addition, a simple examination of the incidence of child abuse and neglect as a whole (e.g.

at the state or national level) is unlikely to identify and attribute their possible causes. Federal and state laws define what constitutes child abuse and neglect. They also designate those who must report allegations of child abuse and neglect, or make all citizens with reason to suspect abuse and neglect mandated flaggers. State laws dealing with child abuse and neglect were passed in all 50 states as a result of amendments to the Social Security Act of 1962, which required all states to include child protection in their child protection systems (Myers, 2008). At the same time, the 1962 article „The Battered Child Syndrome“ (Kempe et al., 1962, 1985) raised public concerns that many voluntary child cruelty prevention societies would disappear and be largely replaced by government counterparts now known as child welfare agencies. For example, recommendation 13 of the Commission`s First Report, Child Abuse and Neglect: Critical First Steps in Response to a National Emergency (U.S. Advisory Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1990, p. 1990).

138) requests the Minister of Health to „launch a major coordinated initiative involving all relevant parts of the Ministry of Health to promote the systematic conduct of research related to child abuse and neglect“. The Advisory Committee`s second report, Creating Caring Communities: Blueprint for an Effective Federal Policy on Child Abuse and Neglect (1991), focuses on the federal government`s overall response to child abuse and neglect. The report calls for the adoption of a „national child protection policy“ whose objective would be to advance child protection measures by all federal agencies. The report includes a nine-page draft entitled „National Child Protection Policy“ and asks an appropriate federal research agency to determine the cost of implementing such a policy, as well as the cost of implementing it. To prevent child maltreatment and neglect, the report`s recommendations also include the first call by a federal expert panel for the national implementation of universal voluntary neonatal home visits (which the report calls „a dramatic new federal initiative to prevent child maltreatment“).