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Abusive PoliciesHow the American Child Welfare System Lost Its Way$
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Mical Raz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469661216

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469661216.001.0001

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The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

Social Welfare Approaches to Child Abuse

(p.31) Chapter Two The Road Not Taken
Abusive Policies

Mical Raz

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter 2 focuses on the work of child welfare researchers who emphasized the roles of socioeconomic and racial disparities as important risk factors for child abuse. It recreates a historical moment in which addressing poverty was depicted as a means of “primary prevention” of abuse. It also examines the history of the New York Foundling Hospital’s Crisis Nursery in the early 1970s, a respite care service designed by pediatrician, Vincent Fontana, to be a tool to prevent child abuse in struggling families. While numerous well-respected researchers and practitioners advocated for the importance of addressing structural inequalities in the prevention of child abuse, this approach was never accepted as mainstream. This chapter examines how and why such approaches were marginalized, and at what expense.

Keywords:   Poverty, Respite care, New York Foundling Hospital’s Crisis Nursery, Vincent Fontana, Child Abuse, Researchers, Child Welfare, Racial, Socioeconomic, Structural Inequalities

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