Lifting the Veil
Examining the Child Welfare, Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems
Child Abuse Reporting
How many of the over three million reports received annually by child welfare agencies are passed on for investigation? How is the number of reports used to manipulate public perception? How many reports actually involve allegations of severe abuse?
What problems was Public Law 96-272, the “reasonable efforts requirement,” intended to address? Did the law enjoy any measure of success? Are the states in compliance with the law? Critics charge the law suffered from a lack of federal leadership, and that it was destined for failure.
How One Hospital Lost Two of its Best Neurologists
In 2007, the American Medical Association conducted an investigation of medical peer reviews, finding that 15% of the surveyed physicians were aware of peer review misuse or abuse. In July 2013, the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association jointly filed a legal brief in the California Supreme Court noting that there is a “continuing great need to have whistleblower protections for medical staff physicians who face adverse peer review decisions.” Critics charge that the review process is a “sham” that is often used to eliminate whistleblowers, while those physicians who may pose a genuine threat often seem to go unnoticed.
Added August 14, 2014.
Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry held its first public hearing on Monday, January 13, 2014, marking the fourth public session of the Inquiry into abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland. The Inquiry is examining allegations of child abuse in children’s homes and other residential institutions spanning the period of 1922 to 1995.
Added January 16, 2014.
Zero Tolerance Programs
Zero tolerance programs in the public schools have often been criticized for being overly harsh and punitive in nature. Critics contend that these policies are often administered in an arbitrary manner. An emerging body of literature indicates that this policy is wholly without empirically-validated support, and that scientific reviews have found no evidence whatsoever that zero tolerance prevents school violence.
Sidebar: Department of Justice and Department of Education issue Guidance on Zero Tolerance Programs
Added January 11, 2014
Australian Inquiries Continue Review Of Long-Term Abuses In Institutional Foster Care
An in-depth look into abuse in institutional foster care, with a particular emphasis on recent developments in Australia, Ireland, and Canada. Also examined are the related issues of forced adoptions, the over-representation of minority populations in foster care, and other issues universally related to child protection. Related resources are clearly presented alongside the article for further exploration.
Added January 2, 2014.
Efforts at Reform: 2010 – Where Are We Today?
Added May 22, 2010.
Little Angel Bird: Reflections on a Young Girl’s Death in Alberta
The untimely death of a 21-month-old girl in foster care in Alberta is examined amidst the backdrop of the globalization of the child protection industry. An analysis of the assimilation era, in which Native and Aboriginal peoples were scooped up over the course of decades – ostensibly to serve their best interests. The role of the Child Welfare League of America in promulgating the policies leading to the forced removal of Native children from their homes is examined in a global-historical context.
Added June 15, 2010.
Efforts at Reform
For decades, child advocates have tried legislative measures, litigation, administrative restructuring, as well as a variety of other methods aimed at reforming public child welfare agencies. How effective have these strategies been at altering daily practice? The first article in a planned series explores over three decades of reform efforts in the state of Tennessee.
Close Up: The Petro Audits
Luxury car leases, tickets to sporting events, country club memberships, a cruise, limousine services, personal loans, and political contributions. All at taxpayer expense, and all from money intended to be used for children in foster care.
Under Siege: The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
An alarmingly high percentage of Native American families are broken up by the removal of their children from them by nontribal public and private agencies. An introduction to The Indian Child Welfare Act. Is it working as intended?
The Lost Children
Children missing from foster care across the nation. Gone without a trace, they are among America’s disposable children.
This article has a new introduction written in February, 2015.
Eye on Kansas
Critics charge that privatization of foster care in the state of Kansas falls far short of the success that it was promised to be.
Analysis of Children’s Drawings
Your child brings home a drawing from an art session in school. Could it have been screened for potential indicators of child sexual abuse?
Questionable Examples of Expert Testimony
A pictorial tour of the often incredible testimony and material presented as evidence by experts in child abuse cases.
Behavioral indicators often used in the courtroom as evidence of child abuse. Do these indicators prove only the ingenuity of the expert witnesses?