Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War Against Child Abuse

Richard Wexler, Author Prometheus Books $24.95 (369p) ISBN 978-0-87975-602-4
``The war against child abuse has become a war against children,'' charges Wexler, a reporter for the Albany, N.Y., Times Union , in a well-argued, in-depth study of the ``child protection system'' in the U.S. and the politics that enmesh it. He maintains that even more alarming than the alleged abuses suffered by children at the hands of their parents are the disruption of home life and the long-lasting trauma of minors assigned to institutions and foster homes that are either as bad as or worse than their own families. He asserts also that ``witch-hunts'' of foster parents suspected of improper conduct and harried supporting care system administrators, at times involving false accusations of sexual abuse, are all too common. While crediting competent, dedicated caseworkers who struggle in an overloaded welfare system, Wexler deplores what he considers misleading statistics and the presumption of parental guilt that underlie much child protection work. Preventive programs, legal measures and financial incentives meant to preserve original families figure in his detailed recommendations for reform. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Paperback - 429 pages - 978-0-87975-936-0
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