International Debate

Webinar: We Can Do Better: Cross-System Approaches for Addressing Child Maltreatment

March 2, 2021 1427

Join the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the Institute for Research on Poverty for a webinar on proposed reforms to the United States child welfare system. The hour-long online events occurs on Tuesday, March 23, starting at 3 p.m. ET.

From birth to age 18, over one-third of U.S. children are investigated by child welfare systems due to allegations of child abuse and neglect, one-eighth are determined to be victims of maltreatment, and about 6% spend some time in foster care. Child welfare services in the United States are also extremely expensive, with an estimated cost of roughly $30 billion per year to federal, state, and local governments. And current child welfare systems respond to child safety concerns through a highly intrusive and intensive government intervention that is nearly always unwelcomed by families.

Given this, it is time to consider a different approach to child maltreatment prevention and intervention—one that significantly shrinks the role of child welfare systems, which, as currently organized, are almost exclusively reactive (responding to allegations of maltreatment) rather than proactive (preventing potential maltreatment).

In a webinar that draws from the November 2020 issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Science, panelists will ask: How can we leverage the broader social welfare policy landscape to prevent child maltreatment? Which child maltreatment prevention programs merit investment and expansion? How do families (particularly families of color, given their overrepresentation in the current child welfare system) experience child welfare interventions and how can these experiences be improved? Can predictive risk modeling aid in identifying families at risk of child maltreatment?

AAPSS Executive Director Tom Keckskemethy will join Lonnie Berger and Kristen Slack of co-sponsor Institute for Research on Poverty to host the webinar, and AAPSS Fellow Maria Cancian of Georgetown University will moderate the panel discussion. The panelists are: Brett Drake, Washington University in St. Louis Megan Feely, University of Connecticut Brenda Jones-Harden, University of Maryland Darcey Merritt, New York University

The March 23 event, co-sponsored by IRP, will offer practical and feasible steps to leverage a wealth of knowledge toward better prevention and intervention strategies and policies—spanning a host of public policies and systems serving families with children—for significantly reducing rates of child maltreatment, and more effectively serving families at risk for or having experienced child maltreatment.

The discussion will focus on the possibility of different approaches to child maltreatment prevention and intervention—solutions that would significantly shrink the role of child welfare systems, which, as currently organized, are almost exclusively reactive rather than proactive.

Register for the webinar event here.

The American Academy of Political and Social Science, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies, is dedicated to the use of social science to address important social problems. For over a century, our flagship journal, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, has brought together public officials and scholars from across the disciplines to tackle issues ranging from racial inequality and intractable poverty to the threat of nuclear terrorism. Today, through conferences and symposia, podcast interviews with leading social scientists, and the annual induction of Academy Fellows and presentation of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize, the Academy is dedicated to bridging the gap between academic research and the formation of public policy.

View all posts by American Academy of Political and Social Science

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