Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the child protective system in the United States by first examining the scaffolding created by federal legislation and federal funding. Next, it reviews three significant Supreme Court decisions that bear on the operation of child protective service systems. Lastly, it examines the common process and flow of individual cases of child abuse and neglect from initial reporting, through investigation, service response, possible out-of-home placement, and finally decisions regarding when and why to close the case. The conclusion discusses the three core goals of the child protective service system: safety and wellbeing of children; permanency of caregiving; and family preservation.
Keywords: child protective services, child maltreatment, foster care, adoption, family preservation, permanency, children’s safety and wellbeing, Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Adoption and Safe Families Act
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