Social Policy, Welfare, and Change

My population of interest is children. Children need to be protected from neglect and abuse from parents or other people who have assumed parental roles. Children experience various maltreatment typologies: neglect, emotional neglect, educational neglect, physical neglect, medical neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Child protection assists both who are under the care of their parents or relatives and the state. The age gap in this population is from birth to eighteen years. However, Social Services offer assistance to children above eighteen years who remain in state custody until twenty-one years.

Several laws in both the federal government and state level have been enacted to protect children. Among the laws is the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) which was enacted by the federal government in 1974. The law had the aim of providing financial assistance to a demonstration program that prevented, identified and offered treatment to children who had been abused and neglected (Miller & Vaughn, 2018). With time, the law was amended to offer a broader outline of child protection. Another federal law that protects children apart from CAPTA is the Indian Child Welfare Act. The law was established in 1978 four and it aimed to protect Native American children (Miller & Vaughn, 2018). The law came up with established required to place Indian children in adoptive and foster homes besides preventing breakups in Indian families. Exactly two decades after the amendment of CAPTA, the federal government enacted another law for protecting children: Multiethnic Placement Act. The law prohibited agencies and states from receiving federal funds concerning foster care or from delayed permanency adoption due to the race of the child or the parents or ethnicity. 

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States have developed child protection laws following federal laws. Among those states that have developed the laws in New Jersey. The state has several laws and one is known as Child Protection and Permanency. The mission of the law ensures children’s safety, permanency, and well-being besides supporting families (Shaw, Bright & Sharpe, 2015). Moreover, it investigates the allegations of neglect and child abuse, and where necessary it arranges for the protection of the child as well as family’s treatment (Miller & Vaughn, 2018). Another state-based child protection law is CANRA: Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act. The law is from the state of California. The law identifies forty-four positions of employment as Mandated Reporters with specific mandated responsibilities of reporting. A Mandated Reporter is a person required to report suspected or observed neglect or child abuse to a social service agency or designated law enforcement. Some of the cases a Mandated Reporter is required to report include sexual assault, physical abuse, neglect, statutory rape and sexual exploitation (Shaw et al., 2015). When a Mandated Reporter fails to report child neglect or abuse, he or she can be punished by either paying a fine of $1000 or serving six months in jail or both. 

Both the state and federal laws concerning child protection have a common goal: protecting children from neglect and abuse. The federal law equips the states’ laws with requirements, guidance, and instruction required when it comes to children’s well-being and safety. In return, the states’ laws provide all the agencies required to protect children.


Miller, J. J., & Vaughn, L. T. B. (2018). Training child welfare citizen review panel members: A promising approach?. (Children and youth services review.) Shaw, T. V., Bright, C. L., & Sharpe, T. L. (2015). Child welfare outcomes for youth in care as a result of parental death or parental incarceration. (Child abuse & neglect.)

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