ERIC Number: ED194855
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
A Child Welfare Perspective on Children's Versus Parent's Rights in Incestuous Families.
Conte, Jon R.
The act of intervention into family life creates a conflict between the rights of the sexually abused child and the integrity of the family. From the child-welfare perspective, the conflict consists primarily in the ambiguity of child-welfare values which on the one hand support the sanctity of the family and on the other recognize the child's right to be free from abuse and neglect. Child-welfare professionals have not fully addressed this conflict, which is as significant as the legal conflict between children's and parents' rights. Resolution of this conflict implies support for the child's right to a family that provides the necessary care, nurturance, and socialization. Such a family would by definition be free of exploitive and coercive acts such as sexual abuse. The professional must, therefore, confront the question, "Is sexual abuse of children by parents to be tolerated?" A decision that such behavior is not to be permitted should not alter the view that state intervention is often problematic, nor should it suggest that intervention should occur in every case. Child-welfare professionals should act in conjunction with attorneys to make the legal system less victimizing for the child and punitive for the offender. (Author/CS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980). Best copy available; filmed from colored paper.