Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Myra Houser

Second Reader

Dr. Randall D. Wight

Third Reader

Dr. Raymond Franklin


In its recent history, the United States child protection system has proven to fulfill a desperate need within our nation regarding the welfare and well-being of our nation’s children. An overview of the child protection system’s development shows tremendous progress has been made. And yet, what was created to be a solution to the growing number of children experiencing maltreatment in the form of abandonment, abuse, and/or neglect, has potentially become the very problem. Statistics illustrate just how serious the situation has and will continue to become if something is not done. Serious concerns have arisen and remain, and individuals have become increasingly frustrated and disappointed at the inadequacy of our current system. As it stands, the United States child protection system is ultimately harming the very individuals it was originally created and intended to serve. Due to the nature of our system, three already vulnerable populations are being placed at a greater disadvantage. Thus, our child protection system is in desperate need itself: a need that can only be satisfied by true reform. It is important to consider where that reform begins, whether it is at the federal, state, or local level. However, it is equally important to consider the perspectives of those who are directly affected by and experiencing first-hand the system at its worst. Ultimately, it comes down to whether our system contributes to the protection of our children or whether it continues to protect itself from our children.



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