Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Confronting Child Abuse

While the work of Texas Child Protective Services has garnered a lot of attention for its role in placing and providing for ongoing care for the 463 children from the case of the polygamous community in west Texas, Jacquielynn Floyd points out that this situation is far from typical for case workers who deal with abuse and neglect that most of us never confront first hand. She writes:

Most child-welfare cases aren't exotic or newsworthy or topics for talking-head civil-liberties debates.

They're just grueling and sad, just further evidence that a child doesn't have to be locked up behind the walls of an isolated compound to be imprisoned or tortured.

The article -- which includes disturbing statistics and recent examples of child abuse in the state --provides an important reminder of the injustices perpetrated on children. Typically, CPS only gets attention on those rare occasions when there is a child that should have been removed from a home but wasn't, or when a child was removed obviously incorrectly. Ms. Floyd is surely correct that day in and day out these caseworkers do jobs that most of us would be incapable of handling.

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