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The Definition and Effects of the Child Neglect - Research Paper Example

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The paper describes the definition of child abuse that is somewhat unclear and the effects are mixed, without question abuse is a detriment to children, families and ultimately, to society as a whole. Historically speaking, child neglect is a relatively new concept…
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The Definition and Effects of the Child Neglect
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Download file to see previous pages Until the early nineteenth century, child neglect was more or less a way of life, especially for poor children. The terminology may be a new concept but the practice is long-lived. Throughout the history of mankind, children have been abandoned, killed, mutilated, kidnapped, raped, jailed and otherwise exploited in various ways. For example, children during colonial times in America were regularly beaten with whips because this practice was thought an important aspect of instilling discipline. Until the early nineteenth century, very young children regularly were forced to work more than 12 hours a day, six or seven days per week in mills, factories and mines (Daro, 1988). At the time, neither whipping nor forced labour was considered child abuse or neglect and children had no recourse but to endure what today would be considered horrific living conditions. Largely because of the labour movement in the mid-1900s, many states enacted laws that defined child neglect, required health care workers to report suspected neglect cases and outline punishment for offenders (McCurdy & Daro, 1994). Congress gave a formal definition to neglect and stipulated actions states must take so that children would be protected from abuses when it ratified the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974. That federally mandated legal definition of neglect is as follows: “The physical and mental injury, sexual abuse, neglected treatment or maltreatment of a child under age 18 by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances which indicate the child’s health and welfare is harmed and threatened thereby, as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare” (“Child Protection Act”, 1974). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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