A brief legislative history of the child welfare in United States – This article is based on deep case studies and qualified information in order to maintain the quality of the content which shall help you to get accurate information
Child’s welfare is a relatively young field that is changing growing and evolving the workforce that keeps United State’s children safe and that you are now a part of is the product of more than a hundred fifty years of child welfare history.
It all began in the late 1800s with a little girl named Mary Ellen who was born to the Wilson family in New York City in 1864 when her birth father died and her birth mother boarded her but couldn’t afford to make payments at two years old Mary Ellen came into the custody of the Department of Charities.
The department placed her with the McCormick’s as Mr. McCormick had claimed to be Mary Ellen’s birth father. Mr. McCormick died shortly after Mary Ellen’s placement and Ms. McCormick was re-married to Francis Connelly.
They badly mistreated Mary Ellen and the tenement neighbors soon became aware of the situation in 1874, a neighbor asked a mission worker to check on Mary Ellen who was now 10 years old.
The mission worker at a wheeler tried to get protection from Mary Ellen but New York authorities were reluctant to intervene eventually Miss Wheeler contacted Henry Bergh founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The ASPCA agreed to step in to protect this child who was as Miss Wheeler’s niece insisted a little animal surely.
A society attorney petitioned to remove Mary Ellen from her home. So she could testify about her maltreatment after investigation of the home, Mary Ellen came under the control of the court found guilty of assault and battery Miss Connelly spent one year of hard labor in the penitentiary.
The Mary Ellen case turned a spotlight on the child welfare landscape in New York in December 1874, a group of philanthropists including Cornelius Vanderbilt’s came together with Henry Bergh to found the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
This was the first organization founded to protect New York children from abuse and neglect the first childcare institutions orphanages provided shelter for children rescued from poor houses and mental institutions later called Children’s Homes (Orphanages) remained a primary child welfare institution until the 1940s.
The late 1800s saw the advent of the orphan trains which transported these rescued children across the country stopping at small towns children were put up on platforms to be chosen by the townspeople which inspired the phrase put up for adoption.
In 1899 the first Juvenile Court was established in Cook County, Illinois before that children and adults had been tried in the same criminal court.
By the early 20th century almost all states had followed Illinois’s example, the juvenile system aimed for rehabilitation not prosecution established.
In 1912 the Children’s Bureau is the oldest federal agency serving children by providing grants to States tribes and communities the agency helps to deliver child welfare services designed to protect children and strengthen families.
In the 1950s Colorado was the first state in the Union to codify laws regarding child welfare this codification became known as the Colorado Children’s Code and it remains the legal basis for all child welfare in the state of Colorado.
In 1950, also saw a national recognition that children’s needs could be met better in family settings than in institutions foster family homes began replacing orphanages but the focus still remained on rescuing children from bad situations and little attention was paid to children’s experience.
In a landmark 1959 study, Maas and Engler described the serious developmental and emotional problems of children who had grown up in foster care. It was becoming evident that the Cure was often as damaging to children as the problem it was designed to remedy how could parents abuse their own children most people didn’t want to believe that was possible.
But in the 1960s Dr. Henry Kemp a pediatrician at Colorado University Hospital identified and documented many instances of battered child syndrome in which children had sustained injuries inflicted by a parent or caregiver.
Meanwhile Dr. Brandt Steele also a Coloradoan was doing revolutionary work with abusive parents. He recognized that many had been neglected and abused in their own childhoods and could be treated.
Dr. Kemp and Steele formed the first National Center on research and treatment of child abuse and neglect which became the Kemp Center for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect following the Maas and Engler study.
Additional research showed that foster children exhibited serious developmental and psychological problems as a result of changing and impermanent placements.
The term foster care drift referred to children living in a series of temporary homes with no permanent family insight to combat foster care drift child welfare professionals initiated the permanency planning movement.
It emphasized the importance of promoting permanent living arrangements for children initially only children or youth in out-of-home care benefited but the best way to achieve permanency professionals realized was to prevent separation from ever occurring.
Thus the child welfare system sought permanency as a primary goal for all children in its care passed.
In 1974 the child abuse prevention and treatment Act is known as CAPTA brought national attention to the need to protect vulnerable children in the United States.
What does cap to do captain was the first law to set forth a minimum definition of child abuse and neglect.
It provides federal funding to States and grants to public agencies and nonprofits to support child welfare goals programs and projects CAPTA also supports research evaluation technical assistance and data collection since it was signed into law captive has been amended several times.
The late 1970s brought a spotlight on the needs of Native American children a pattern of off-reservation placements often by well-intentioned missionaries had resulted in children being separated from their cultural roots harming both the children and their tribes.
Later, Native American children, it assigned sole responsibility for Native American children to their tribal governments a gua required screening of all children coming into the child welfare system for Native American ancestry. It also mandated that efforts be made to contact the tribes of children of Native American lineage.
In 1980 Congress passed the adoption assistance and Child Welfare Act. It is part of the foundation of today’s child welfare practice.
The Act promoted children’s remaining safely at home over placement in foster care improved the quality of care and services provided to children and their families and required that reasonable efforts be made to reunite foster children with their biological parents reasonable efforts means making every possible effort to provide carefully planned individualized supportive and therapeutic services to strengthen families and enable them to retain care of their children with such efforts.
Most children and youth can be provided for safely in their own homes. The 90s saw the introduction of child welfare legislation that further supported the foundational adoption assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980.
In 1993 child welfare departments gained federal financial support to offer support services for families through the family preservation and support act the following year in response to Senate hearings over transracial Foster and adoption placements.
Provisions of 1996 prevented discrimination by tying protections to title 6 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that a foster or adoptive placement may not be delayed or denied based solely on the race, color or national.
Origin of the adoptive parent foster parent or child it also stated that no adult may be denied the opportunity to become a foster or adoptive parent based solely.
On those same criteria 1994 also brought the initiation of the Colorado child welfare settlement agreement the agreement resulted from a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Law Center, the successful negotiation allowed Colorado authorization to seek additional federal funding for child welfare services.
In the late 1990s, several other federal legislative acts had far-reaching effects both nationally and in Colorado, the federal child welfare reform legislation of 1996 changed child welfare funding to provide the Block Grant States and created the temporary aid to needy families program.
This legislation will impact the way services are delivered to children youth and families for decades to come the next year saw Colorado’s adoption of an automated case management system called trails which satisfies the federal government’s mandate on the collection of child welfare data.
This database would be instrumental in tracking the new requirements set forth by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.
This small altered the definition of reasonable efforts set deadlines for termination and permanency hearings and among other things provided incentives for adoptions turn-of-the-century legislation boosted services to youth in the foster care system and to independent living programs through the foster care independence Act of 1999.
This act made provisions for states to provide former foster youth with health insurance until age 21 for youth to have increased assets without losing benefits and to double monies for independent living programs to use on program activities.
This legislation changed the name of the independent living initiative to the John H Chaffee independence program.
In some Colorado counties, Chafee case workers specialize in helping youth in foster care transition to independent living.
On March 25th, 2000 the Children’s Bureau began administering a new approach to monitoring state child welfare programs the Child and Family Services reviews known as CF.
The eligibility reviews ensure that states conform to federal requirements and that state data for foster care and in-home service populations meet national standards at the end of these reviews states found wanting must develop and implement program improvement plans.
The Children’s Bureau then supports and monitors the implementation of these plans laws and the late-2000s continue to promote safety and service to vulnerable children the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act in 2006 strengthened federal penalties for crimes against children, created a national child abuse registry and required background checks of prospective adoptive and foster parents.
In 2006 the Child and Family Services Improvement Act mandated a new standard for states regarding contacts between children in care and their caseworkers the law mandates that states must be able to show that 90 percent of all children or youth in foster care received monthly face-to-face visits with their caseworkers and that a majority of these visits take place in the residence of the child or youth.
The Act also reauthorized the promoting safe and stable families program through 2011 and provided funding to support caseworker retention and training.
In 2008 Congress passed a law that empowered many different members of the child welfare system the fostering connections to success and increasing adoptions Act of 2008 makes provisions for payments for kinship guardians funding access.
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