The recent surge in reports of child abuse has led Costin, Karger, and Stoesz to examine whether our current responses to the problem are adequate. In this book they trace the cultural, social, and legal factors that have shaped the history of child abuse and responses to it since the 1870s. The public response to child abuse is detailed, from the creation of the first Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the late 19th century, to the relative consignment of child abuse cases to the courts in the early to mid 20th century, and finally to the clinical, individual-level approaches introduced in the 1960s and still practised today.
Lela B. Costin is Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois. Howard Jacob Karger is Professor of Social Work at the University of Houston. David Stoesz is Professor of Social Work at San Diego State University.