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21 Wash. & Lee J. Civ. Rts. & Soc. Just. 5 (2014-2015)
An Essay on Poverty and Child Neglect: New Interventions

handle is hein.journals/walee21 and id is 11 raw text is: 






       An Essay on Poverty and Child Neglect: New

                                                       Interventions


                                                       Joan M Shaughnessy*


     Millions of America's children are suffering in extreme poverty and
hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of those children are also the
victims of child neglect. The intertwined problems of child poverty and
child neglect have been a concern of policy makers and scholars since the
advent of the modem child welfare system.2 Reliance on traditional child
welfare services, particularly foster care, has proven to be an unsatisfactory
solution to the problem     of the neglect of poor children.      Gradually,
alternative approaches are being developed and tested, but it remains to be
seen how successful those approaches will prove to be.
     Child poverty in the United States is widespread and growing.
According to the census bureau, in 2012, almost 22% of children under the
age 18, and 24% of children under 6, were living in poverty. Of those
children, 40% were living in extreme poverty. 3 The Department of

     *   Roger D. Groot Professor of Law. Special thanks to Dominik Taylor, Leigh
Kirschner, Tammi Hellwig and Ann Massie for all of their work in organizing the Symposium
on Emerging Issues in Child Welfare.
     1. See generally, Bruce Boyer & Amy Halbrook, Advocating for Children in Care in a
 Climate of Economic Recession: The Relationship Between Poverty and Child Maltreatment,
 6 Nw. J.L. & Soc. POL'Y 300 (2011).
     2. For some of the extensive literature on poverty and child maltreatment, see DUNCAN
LINDSEY, THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN (2d ed. 2004); see also MARGARET SMITH & ROWENA
FONG, THE CHILDREN OF NEGLECT: WHEN No ONE CARES (2013); NEGLECTED CHILDREN:
RESEARCH, PRACTICE, AND POLICY (Howard Dubowitz ed. 1999); LEROY PELTON, FOR
REASONS OF POVERTY: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PUBLIC CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM IN THE
UNITED STATES (1989); Wendy Bach, The Hyperregulatory State: Women, Race, Poverty and
Support, 25 Yale J.L. & Feminism (forthcoming 2014); see also Janet Wallace & Lisa Pruitt,
Judging Parents, Judging Place: Poverty, Rurality, and Terminating Parental Rights, 77 Mo.
L. REV. 95 (2012); Bruce Boyer & Amy Halbrook, Advocating for Children in Care in a
Climate of Economic Recession: The Relationship Between Poverty and Child Maltreatment,
6 Nw. J.L. & SOC. POL'Y 300 (2011); Deborah Paruch, The Orphaning of Underpriviledged
Children: America's Failed Child Welfare Law & Policy, 8 J. L. & FAM. STUD. 119 (2006);
Sarah H. Ramsey, Children in Poverty: Reconciling Children's Interests with Child Protective
and Welfare Policies: A Response to Ward, Doran and Roberts, 61 MD. L. REV. 437 (2002);
Andrea Charlow, Race, Poverty, and Neglect, 28 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 763 (2001); and
Daan Braveman & Sarah Ramsey, When Welfare Ends: Removing Children From the Home
for Poverty Alone, 70 TEMPLE L. REV. 447 (1997).
     3. U.S. Census Bureau, Table 3. People in Poverty by Selected Characteristics: 2011

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