Child abuse and neglect, also called “child maltreatment,” too often endanger the health, well-being and even lives of children. How do we solve this problem? Two professors at the Brown School offer advice in a new book titled, “After the Cradle Falls: What Child Abuse Is, How We Respond To It, And What You Can Do About it.”
Lawyers recently have gained attention by seeking restitution from individuals convicted of viewing or downloading exploitative photos of children. “This ‘pay-per-view’ system further commodifies victims,” says Cortney Lollar, JD, clinical faculty at Washington University in St. Louis. She says that two key changes are in order: move from the current restitution system to the creation of a child pornography crime victims’ compensation fund, and devote more resources to preventing child sexual abuse.
Black children are involved in reported cases of child abuse at approximately twice the rate of white children. Until now, this has generally been attributed to racial bias in the child welfare system. But in a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, F. Brett Drake, PhD, professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, finds that much, if not most, of the overrepresentation of black children in maltreatment reporting is due to increased exposure to risk factors such as poverty.
Studying Child Protective Services’ effectivenessEfforts to improve Child Protective Services (CPS) would be more effective if they were based on evaluations of available data instead of assertions that are not supported by evidence, say two child welfare services experts. “While there is no doubt that the current child welfare system has flaws, we can find little empirical data supporting the scathing critiques of mandated reporting laws and CPS. We now have enough empirical evidence to scientifically evaluate many longstanding criticisms of CPS, and many of those criticisms appear to be without basis in reality,” write Brett Drake, Ph.D., and Melissa Jonson-Reid, Ph.D., in an article titled “A Response to Melton Based on the Best Available Data,” published in the current issue of the international journal Child Abuse & Neglect. More…