chapter  14
14 Pages

When Families Cannot Be Healed: The Limits of Parental Rights

Early efforts to protect children originated at the state level. New York's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, established in 1875, was a private agency that received public funding and was granted authority by New York State to intervene in the lives of abused and neglected children (Levine and Wallach, 2002). Within thirty-five years, most states followed suit and enacted similar legislation. Another important event in the development of child welfare legislation was the publication of an article by Kempe and colleagues (1962) alerting physicians to particular patterns of injuries indicative of what the authors referred to as "battered child syndrome." Subsequently, state legislatures enacted laws mandating physicians to report suspected abuse to child protection authorities.