The Voice of the Child has become a world wide phenomenon in which the wishes and feelings of children are sought in the family courts, in matters concerning the care of a child and in areas of hea…
Historically, child protection has been commonly perceived to be a matter of concern to professionals in specialized social service, health, mental health, and justice systems. However, Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal also welcomes contributors and readers interested in children’s safety in the settings of everyday life – homes, day care centers, schools, playgrounds, youth clubs, health clinics, places of worship, and so forth. Child Abuse & Neglect also invites the engagement of other social scientists (e.g., anthropologists, economists, historians, planners, political scientists, and sociologists) and humanists (e.g., ethicists, legal scholars, political theorists, and theologians) whose studies may contribute to an understanding of (a) the evolution of concepts of – and strategies for – child protection and (b) the responsibilities of individual adults and the institutions of which they are a part to ensure children’s safety and their humane care.
Limited by neither geography, profession, nor setting, the readers of Child Abuse & Neglect have diverse education, experience, interests, and needs for information. Accordingly, the journal seeks the expression of authors’ ideas and their empirical findings clearly and cogently, so that articles are accessible to a broad audience. The journal also expects authors to approach problems of child abuse and neglect with a level of care commensurate with the fundamental importance of children’s rights to the protection of their personal security, the promotion of their sense of dignity, and the assurance of love and respect in the relationships most important to them.
Toward those ends, Child Abuse & Neglect invites research and commentary on the following topics, among others:
•the conditions that foster or threaten children’s safety and sense of personal security in their homes and other settings of everyday life;
•the conditions that enable or hinder parents’, extended family members’, other caregivers’, and other community members’ efforts to ensure children’s personal security;
•programs and practices to facilitate children’s protection from harms or wrongs, their recovery from violations of their personal security, or both;
•community, societal, and international systems to promote children’s safety, enhance the quality of their care, and/or facilitate the mitigation of harms and wrongs that they may suffer;
•children’s, parents’, and other caregivers’ own experiences, attitudes, and beliefs in regard to all of these topics.
Child Abuse & Neglect recognizes that child protection is a global concern and that the state of the art continues to evolve. Accordingly, the journal is intended to be useful to scholars, policymakers, concerned citizens, and professional practitioners in countries that are diverse in wealth, culture, and the nature of their formal child protection system. Thus Child Abuse & Neglect welcomes contributions grounded in the traditions of particular cultures and settings. However, international and cross-cultural studies and commentary are of special interest.
Key issues raised by research on child contact and domestic violence
Dr Ravi Thiara and Dr Christine Harrison Centre for the Study of Safety and Wellbeing University of Warwick 2016
Existing research provides strong evidence that in making arrangements for child contact when there is a history of domestic violence, the current workings of the Family Justice System support a pro-contact approach that neglects the safety needs of children and women, and the impact on them of previous or continuing domestic violence. This frequently exposes children and women to further violence, causes them significant harm, and prevents their recovery. For a substantial number of children, the privileging of men’s rights to contact over children’s welfare negatively affects every aspect of their wellbeing and development. The individual and societal costs are unacceptable. In the UK there have been conflicting developments in safeguarding children and women. It is widely acknowledged that, whilst criminal justice responses have improved, the law, policy and practice in relation to child contact arrangements following parental separation remain dominated by models that marginalise the impact of domestic violence. Studies reveal that concerns about children’s safety and the effects of men’s violence are routinely overlooked, in voluntary as well as court ordered arrangements. Indeed, it has proved inordinately difficult to improve safety, with serious implications for the health and development of children and their mothers. This promotion of fathers’ involvement in children’s lives at the expense of safety considerations (MacDonald, 2014) has perpetuated what Thiara and Humphreys (2015) describe as the ‘absent presence’ of violent men in the lives of children and women. More than anything, the presumption that contact is beneficial for children, unless proven otherwise, has been shown to be incredibly harmful for some children (Women’s Aid, 2016). The UK is a signatory of the Istanbul Convention (see http://www.humanrights.ch/en/standards/cetreaties/violence-against-women). This extends the commitments of European countries in combating domestic violence and its impact on children and women. Article 31 of the Convention requires member countries to strengthen legislation relating to visitation (contact) and custody (residence). Quite specifically, the Convention establishes an expectation that incidents of violence against the non-abusive parent will be taken into account by judicial authorities when determining arrangements for children i.e. contact orders should not be issued without taking into account the impact of domestic violence on children and women, and no arrangements should be made which jeopardise the rights and safety of a child or mother. This highlights a further contradiction in the UK government’s stance; although the UK is a signatory to the Convention, it has not yet been ratified.
read the full article here:-Safe not sorry
C HILDREN ’ S N EEDS – P ARENTING C APACITY
Child abuse: Parental mental illness, learning disability, substance misuse and domestic violence 2nd edition HEDY CLEAVER, IRA UNELL AND JANE ALDGATE