Tuesday, October 03, 2006

End Child Abuse in 20 years

I was reading an article written by an individual (Victor Vieth of the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse) that lectured at the Child Death Review Team symposium that I attended recently. As someone said that I shared a copy with: “an interesting read”. I thought I’d throw a couple of things from the article into my blog.

His is a plan to end child abuse in the United States within 120 years. Seems like a long time, but it is a huge problem. The timeline is laid out so that during the first 40 years everyone responsible for every step of finding, reporting, treating, prosecuting every child abuse incident is fully trained and working in a system that functions as it should. Also the next generations of these individuals are trained, ready to be trained and committed to the fight. Over the next 80 years child abuse is ended. He admits that it won’t all go away, but by and large it will be gone from our society. It is a multigenerational problem and will require a multigenerational attack and solution.

I wish him and his plan well and all success. It has got to happen, the toll is too great.

In case you are uncertain about the problem, beyond the shear scope of the problem, the numbers of the abused, two facts stand out. First: “only 40% of abuse cases and 35% of the most serious cases known to professionals mandated to report were in fact reported”. “65% of social workers, 53% of physicians and 58% of physician assistants were not reporting cases of suspected abuse”. “There were several reasons why mandated reporters do not report”. (None seem all that “good” to me) Second: “the large volume of children whose allegations are either not investigated or that result in CPS (Child Protective services) finding of “unsubstantiated” are just as likely to be victims of abuse (later on) as are those children whose allegations are substantiated”.

The system isn’t working. It isn’t working for the kids. It isn’t working for our society. This plan from the National Child Protection Training Center sounds like the way to go. We can end child abuse within 120 years. I am sorry that I won’t see that eventuality, but I will do what I can to get us moving in that direction.

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