For decades, America has engaged in a public monologue about child abuse. One group of think-alike self-proclaimed “experts” has sought and received enormous public attention. They have painted a distorted picture of child maltreatment and encouraged us to create the failed system we have today.
These “experts,” whose 19th Century counterparts proudly called themselves “child savers” tell us that we have a choice: Engage in massive destruction of families or accept the deaths of innocent children. In fact, the system they have created has given us both.
The professional community has been divided about how to deal with child abuse from the outset. We know that a system can be created which disrupts far fewer families, keeps far more children out of our destructive system of foster care, and protects more children from harm at the hands of their parents.
In the fall of 1991, experts in the field held a conference at Harvard Law School to organize a new group to take the case for child protection reform to the public. The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform is the result of that conference. We are committed to seeking comprehensive change in the child protective system. We do not seek this change because the system hurts parents. We seek this change because the system hurts children. Our hope is to turn the public monologue about child abuse into a dialogue.