Child Abuse Prevention And Treatment Act (CAPTA)

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Although child abuse has had a long-standing presence throughout United States history, laws to protect children only began in the early 20th century. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), approximately 3.4 million cases of child maltreatment was reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) in 2011 involving about 6.2 million children. Of those, approximately 681,000 children, were determined to be victims. Child maltreatment has become a widespread public health issue that requires careful attention from professionals and lawmakers in order to protect the safety and health of children across the country. Child maltreatment has become a widespread public health issue that deserves attention from professionals…show more content…
7). Similarly, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which is a federal law that will be discussed in detail later in this dissertation, defined child abuse and neglect as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (HHS, 2003, p. 44). All of the states in the U.S. have used the definitions developed by the WHO and CAPTA as the basis of their state…show more content…
The conventional wisdom maintained that children are best cared for by their parents whenever possible (Wattam, 1997). ASFA expanded the concept of child well-being by requiring states to assess family capacity and ability to provide for their children’s needs from a strength perspective. Instead of viewing the family as a pathological system with deficiencies in skills and abilities, child welfare social workers were mandated to consider family coping skills, knowledge, resourcefulness, and willingness to grow and change. An underlying assumption of the strengths perspective is that families are not only in the best position to identify their problems they also have the solutions to their problems. Thus a major focus of the strength perspective in child welfare is collaboration between the social worker and the family to define the problems, developing goals and strategies for resolving the problems, and identifying desired outcomes (GlenMaye & Early, 2000). With the goal of balancing deficit-based assessments with strength-based assessments, ASFA charged the child welfare system (CWS) with both ensuring children’s physical safety, as well as providing evidence of positive outcomes. Positive outcomes included protecting

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