Georgia Tech is firmly committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of minors and prompt reporting of suspected abuse or neglect of a minor. Under Georgia state law, certain Georgia Tech employees and volunteers through their employment or service to Georgia Tech are considered mandatory reporters as defined in Policy Terms below of abuse to minors Georgia Code Section
This chapter reviews the foundations for the development of child abuse and neglect law and policy and describes the current environment of laws and policies related to child abuse and neglect at both the federal and state levels.
Also discussed is the evaluation and analysis of these laws and policies. Related research needs are detailed as well. Policy change in the child protection arena frequently has resulted from a synergistic set of factors: Thus, for example, it was these factors that led to federal legislative policy reform making voluntary home visiting more widely available through Section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program is designed to strengthen and improve related programs and activities, improve coordination of services for at-risk communities, and identify and provide evidence-based home visiting programs that can improve outcomes for families residing in at-risk communities.
Regulations and protocols are typical results of the process of implementing laws at the state and local levels. Examples are the recommendations for policy reform issued in the early to mids by the U.
Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect,p. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, focuses on the broad federal government response to child abuse and neglect. Included as well are four pages of recommendations for improving federally supported research and evaluation related to child abuse and neglect.
Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect,again addresses federal research policy, calling on federal agencies to subject federally supported child protection activities to rigorous evaluation; calling on the National Institute of Mental Health to solicit research aimed at clarifying the relationships among social support, culture, and child abuse and neglect; and urging that federally supported research also assess children's, parents', neighbors', and workers' own experiences of the context in which child abuse and neglect occurs and their perceptions of systemic responses to the problem.
At its core, the debate around the development of laws and policies to help prevent child abuse and neglect involves questions of public value Pecora et al. It also involves trade-offs entailed in law making between public benefit and private interests.
What is the balance between children's fundamental right to be safe and parents' right to raise their children as they see fit? Should the government's role be to offer families, on a voluntary basis, services related to the protection of their children, or to force families to accept services they could construe as unwanted government intrusion into family life?
How can policy promote fairness in child protective interventions, recognizing, for example, that some families come from different cultures whose practices may not coincide with what is covered by child protection laws?
What is the appropriate balance between the due process rights of parents not to have child abuse or neglect case records preserved by child protection agencies in cases that are very old or in which a report of abuse or neglect was not substantiated and the authority of states to maintain appropriate central registries of child abuse and neglect case-related data that might later be used as part of child protection efforts?
The development of child abuse and neglect laws and policies should include the application of reason, evidence, and an evaluative framework to such decisions Pecora et al. The application of reason refers to public discourse by practitioners, advocates, researchers, and legislators Pecora et al.
The evidence for passing laws and changing public policy is derived from a variety of sources, some explicitly guided by research and scientific evidence and others reflecting social consensus about legitimate government activity. For example, even though research evidence suggests that lengthy incarceration for acts of violence is not always necessary for community safety, it is widely supported by citizens because of the societal functions of punishment for wrongdoing and justice for victims.
The evaluative framework for child abuse and neglect laws and policies lies with the ability to anticipate and deal with a series of predictable problems that occur as a result of the laws' and policies' implementation.
Research helps answer questions when those answers are critical to effective implementation. Is banning the behavior targeted in legislation, such as certain forms of corporal punishment that are most likely to cause serious injury to a child, likely to reduce the rate of child abuse and neglect-related fatalities?
Are safe haven laws permitting a mother to, without legal consequence, abandon a newborn child safely constructed so as to reduce the number of child abandonments and even deaths of unwanted children that would have occurred in the laws' absence?
Are there sufficient resources to educate those persons included in a law as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, and what is the impact of changing the requirements for who must report or what must be reported? Is there sufficient public support for changing the definition of what constitutes child abuse and neglect under state law?
Given these complexities, the research design needed to evaluate laws and policies is not always the same as the design one would use to evaluate practice interventions. Although some laws and policies can be evaluated by random assignment e.
Furthermore, simply studying the incidence of child abuse and neglect in the aggregate such as at the state or national level is unlikely to aid in determining and attributing its potential causes. Another difficulty in evaluating laws and policies related to child abuse and neglect is that adherence to a law, such as a mandatory reporting law, often is predicated on public knowledge, understanding, and support that frequently vary across practitioner disciplines, as well as within and among states.
Finally, many of the changes in child abuse and neglect laws and policies over the last few decades have been incremental changes to existing legislation such as the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act [CAPTA]. In those cases, what is needed in terms of law and policy analysis or evaluation is research on the implementation and augmentation of the law or policy, rather than the core law or policy itself.
Given these difficulties in conducting analyses of laws and policies and the fact that laws and policies vary by state, the paucity of research in this area is unsurprising.
They also designate those who must report suspected child abuse and neglect, or make all citizens with reason to suspect abuse and neglect mandated reporters.
State laws addressing the abuse and neglect of children were passed in all 50 states following the amendments to the Social Security Act that required all states to include child protection in their child welfare systems Myers, Inpassage of CAPTA 1 established state responsibilities for child protection and supported the execution of these responsibilities with new federal money for state programs and national research.
As discussed below, CAPTA provided a federal definition of child abuse and neglect and set into motion a series of reforms of state laws, policies, and practices.
This center was subsequently made an office with, unfortunately, far fewer staff, as a part of reorganization within the department. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 2 a blue-ribbon expert panel, but after releasing four reports, it was disbanded and never revived.
Some support for child abuse and neglect research has continued to be provided by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect.State Laws on Child Abuse and Neglect Links to State and Tribal Child Welfare Law and Policy. Series Title: State Statutes: Author(s) Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Availability: It also provides web addresses for States' regulation and policy sites, State court rules, Tribal codes, and judicial resources. The meaningful prevention of child sexual abuse requires community engagement in the development of strategies, improved institutional response to and prevention of sexual abuse, and supportive services and skills for parents, caregivers, and those who work with children of all ages.
The Child Welfare Policy Manual contains mandatory policies that are based in federal law and/or program regulations. It also provides interpretations of federal laws and program regulations initiated by inquiries from state and tribal child welfare agencies or ACF Regional Offices.
Publications and resources related to State and Federal civil laws on child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. Laws & Policies - Child Welfare Information Gateway skip to body. The Office of Legal Affairs website for questions regarding Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Enforcement: Failure of mandatory reporters to report suspected child abuse is a violation of state law and mandatory reporters may be subject to criminal penalties.
Prevent Child Abuse America supports making home visiting services available on a voluntary basis to expectant parents and families with newborns and young children to promote positive parenting skills and healthy child development, and to prevent child abuse and neglect.