Efforts at protecting America’s children have come a long way since Colonial times, yet still more needs to be done. The Social Security Act of 1935 enabled grants to be given to States to provide aid to dependant children through Title IV provision. The Title V provision allowed funds to be paid in order for States to broaden its program of services to children and mothers who were hard hit by economic trouble. A second portion of this provision enabled federal funding to assist states provide broadened and better services for disabled children, and funding to aid child welfare services to enable better care to be provided for children in need (Jansson, B.S. (2012). The Reluctant Welfare State. Brooks Cole.
I would like to take a look at child advocacy efforts within the last fifty years. Perhaps one of the most significant contributors to this effort is Dr. C. Henry Kempe. He, along with his co-workers were trail blazers in identifying child abuse and the naming of Battered Child Syndrome. This work helped people to better understand what child abuse is and how to recognize it. He is a tremendous advocate for all children and a his work continues today through The Kempe Center (http://www.kempe.org/missionhistory) which is located within the University of Colarado’s Department of Pediatrics.
On a more local note, I would like to mention Patricia Wolfe, a North Carolina child advocate, who served the community of Mecklenberg County, in an effort to help children who were in need. Through Ms. Wolfe’s efforts, Pat’s Place was opened as a child advocacy center which has a special focus on helping children who have been victims of sexual abuse (http://patsplaceac.org/History.aspx?sid=13&pid=15&red=yes) and over 2,300 children have been assisted through this agency since it’s opening. Sadly, Ms. Wolfe passed away in in 2000 (Pat’s Place child advocacy center).
I was saddened when I read some of the National statistics concerning child abuse. According to Pat’s Place website “a child is abused or neglected in the United states every 40 seconds” and “The national rate of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect) is ten times greater than the rate of cancer.” Some North Carolina statistics include “Every five minutes a child is abused or neglected in North Carolina.” Even more disturbing, “in 2011, Child Advocacy Centers (23) in North Carolina, such as Pat’s Place, investigated 6,463 new child abuse cases ( a 26% increase over 2010) (http://patsplace.org/Local-Statistics.aspx?sis=39&pid=14&red=yes).
While searching for information on child advocacy efforts, I ran across numerous websites with lots of pertinent information, statistics and links to efforts being made for Child Advocacy within our country today. I would like to list just a few of theses links for those who might be interested in looking more closely at this issue, which continues to affect our children.