Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Cruelty in the name of 'child welfare'

In 2016, about one out of every 10 children in the country were reported as suspected victims of abuse or neglect. After an investigation, fewer than a tenth of those reports were substantiated. Our child welfare system, most seem to agree, touches many more children than is necessary. So how do we protect the 1 in 100 kids who are being abused or neglected while at the same time keeping government from intervening in the private lives of innocent families?

In Diane Redleaf’s new book, They Took the Children Last Night, the lawyer and family advocate suggests that our system has tilted too far in the direction of keeping children safe at all costs and too far from the idea that removing children from their families for any length of time also comes with its own set of risks. “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt may be too high a threshold,” she writes, “but operating under a principle of ‘when in doubt, take them out’ is, if anything, worse.”

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