THE CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ACT
By: Ciara Mincy
Jennie Sweet- Cushman
Saginaw Valley State University
April 22, 2013
Thousands of children are abused and neglected in their homes daily. Dealing with abuse can be difficult for the child and anyone involved. Citizens must take action in their neighborhoods and educated one another on abuse and neglect and how to prevent this. Abusing children has been present since the early 1700’s. Not until 1975 was an act to intervene and stop this abuse from happening. The history of child abuse, how child protective services get involved, and the social effects will be discussed. Political participation comes in by citizens stepping up and reporting a parent if they feel a child is being abused.
The security of children is a value that is shared by many cultures and communities everywhere. Throughout most of our societies, accountability for raising children beyond average and training them to become future adults goes further than the parents, which may be shared at some point in time by surrounding communities as a whole. In today’s society, there are children who are not getting the adequate amount of care and are likely to be abused and or mistreated. Some parents just aren’t fit to raise children. The quote “it takes a village to raise a child” which means it takes the community/village to raise a child. Although there are some inconsistencies in the way many individuals may raise their children, the legal system has made it their primary responsibility to ensure the protection of children throughout the United States, which is why the Child Protection Service Act was established. The initial method through which societies act in response to child abuse and neglect is now largely a legislative issue, though long-ago, private child advocacy and child welfare agencies were the only resources in taking action in helpless children (Schene, 1998).
The means for establishment of this policy is based on the history of the response to child abuse and neglect. Child abuse and neglect has been a serious issue since the beginning of time, as early as the 1700’s. Early in colonial times, the legal means of protection for children was through the English Poor Law of 1601. This law entailed individuals to have public accountability for the poor and place certain issues into the hands of local townspeople. The doctrine derived from the English poor law called “the Parents Patria” (also known as the rulers power) was the only governmental intervention to insure parental obligation towards a child. Children who were abused were thought to be a part of unworthy families, so these individuals were either placed with different families or placed in institutions. Facilities that housed children who were either poor or abandoned were known as almshouses. These facilities were built in the early 1800’s in large cities to house the poor ranging from all ages. Although the almshouses were helpful in aiding the poor youth, there was a downside. When the youth exceeded the age, of ten, they were either placed back on the streets to look for work as servants or they apprenticed out to learn a skill or trade to pay for their care with free labor (Schene, 1998). Over the course of time, the English Poor Law went through several adjustments to change its effectiveness and sturdiness. Leading into the nineteenth century the almsholmes that acted as a safe place for children of the neglected families, later became a hazardous environment. Children were exposed to unsanitary living conditions and malnourishment which led to high mortality rates. These incidents led to states passing laws entailing that children be moved to orphanages and children’s asylums funded by private charities and religious groups. These anticruelty societies formed a legal foundation which authorized children to be