Michael Petit: America can fix problem of child abuse fatalities


President of Every Child Matters, Michael Petit, says America can fix problem of child abuse fatalities

A BBC investigation has revealed widespread child abuse in the world's richest democracy.

New figures have emerged showing that a child dies of abuse or neglect every 5 hours in the United States.

The US has the worst record of child abuse in the industrialised world with death rates significantly higher than those in Europe.

To discuss why child abuse is such a problem in the US, Michael Petit, the President of Every Child Matters, spoke to the BBC's Katty Kay.



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    Comment number 1.

    As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 20 years working with abuse cases, one of the biggest policy problems is the watering down of the CPS definition of "abuse and neglect". In NJ now a child has to suffer "perminent irreparable harm" to substantiate "neglect" now and warrent removal. In Texas to warrent removal the child has to be at immenent risk for death for CPS to act.

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    Comment number 2.

    This is contrary to the intention of the Adoption and Safe Families Act enacted by the Clinton Admin which required CPS to create permenancy plans for children in foster care and made it easier to terminate parental rights and free kids for adoption by setting limits for bad parents to get it together so kids would not be on the endless track in the system and gave incentives for successful adopt.

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    Comment number 3.

    Until we set national policy standards on what constitutes abuse so parents do not think it is OKAY to beat children and say NO as a nation, there will be these deaths. Just as it is perfectly legal in TX to force your kid to watch porn to "educate them" on sex. We then need judges who are willing to act in the "best interest of children" and follow the law and dedicate resources to care after.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    A huge number of local abuse cases involve the mom's boyfriend.I know abuse can occur in homes with 2 married parents but our local statistics show it happens far less.


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