Source: (2006) UCLA Law Review 53:637.

To this end, in lieu of a rights-based model, I argue that a problem-solving model would better serve the goals of the child welfare system. In this new model, the substantive goals of the child welfare system - to promote family preservation and ensure the safety of children - would remain, but the means for achieving these goals would be different. The new model would focus on solving the problems underlying the abuse and neglect, viewing such abuse and neglect largely as products of poverty, not parental pathology. Additionally, the problem-solving model would generate a new process that would foster collaboration between the state and families. Thus, at heart this Article is about the relationship between legal models and the processes that different models generate. To put it most simply, a rights-based model leads to an adversarial process, whereas a problem-solving model leads to a collaborative process. I argue the latter is better suited to serving the interests of both parents and children. (excerpt)