Removing Children From Maltreating Families

As we have seen in the last chapter, child welfare law deems children who are harmed or at risk of harm as “neglected,” “dependent,” or “abused.” The process by which children receive this label is straightforward. Reports of suspected abuse by mandated reporters and others to state or local hotlines trigger child abuse and neglect investigations. These calls are then screened to determine whether the al legations warrant a fuller investigation. Reports that meet the standard for investi gation result in dispatching a child protection worker to examine the child, inter view caregivers, and assess the situation's risk of harm to the child. On the basis of those initial conversations and other gathered information, child protection work ers determine whether available evidence supports allegations and, if so, then those reports are deemed “substantiated,” “indicated,” or “founded.” This determination leads a caseworker to several options: to close the case, open the case for services,...


Child Welfare Foster Care Child Welfare System Reasonable Effort Fourth Amendment 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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