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Using the true story of a murdered child as a point of departure, a leading expert on family violence argues that society's first priority must be protecting children rather than preserving families.Richard Gelles was once one of the most widely published and vocal defenders of family preservation: the social policy of keeping troubles families together as a primary goal. He then ran into the true and tragic case of David Edwards, an infant who was murdered by his mother after falling through the chasms in the child welfare system.David's story convinced Gelles that the system must change. Nearly half the children who are killed by their parents each year are killed after they have come to the attention of child welfare agencies. These children must be protected by getting them out of harm's way. That means a radically new child welfare system must be developed. The first priority must be to protect children rather than preserve families. This hard-hitting book critically examines family preservation programs and argues that they do not work. Gelles goes beyond mere criticism of the child welfare system to suggest specific ways the system should be changed, such as eliminating mandatory reporting of abuse, giving better training to caseworkers, and separating the investigation of abuse from case management.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465053964
ISBN-10: 0465053963
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 127mm x 11mm)
Pages: 218
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 28-Mar-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Richard J. Gelles

Richard Gelles, a leading expert on family violence and author of 11 books on the subject, is the director of the Family Violence Research Program at the University of Rhode Island, where he is also a professor of sociology and psychology.

Books By Author Richard J. Gelles

Intimate Violence and Abuse in Families by Richard J. Gelles

Intimate Violence and Abuse in Families

Paperback, October 2016
Intimate Violence in Families by Richard J. Gelles

Intimate Violence in Families

Paperback, February 1997
Dark Side of Families by Richard J. Gelles

The Dark Side of Families

Paperback, June 1983