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Rights Myopia in Child Welfare

Huntington, Clare
June 4, 2015

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)


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