Wednesday/January 11 roundup

Is Our Society Prejudiced Against Children? – In her blog that appears on Boston.com, pediatrician Claudia Gold reviews Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children, which was published yesterday. The book was written by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, who died last month. Here’s part of Gold’s compelling review for what looks like a compelling book:

Following the history of the field of Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) studies, she (Young-Bruehl) finds that “from the
start [this field] took attention away from abusers and their motivations; and it implied that children could be helped without their abusers being helped.” Furthermore, she describes Child Protective Services (CPS) as a “rescue service — a child saving service — not a family service supporting child development generally and helping parents…” Rather than setting up a system of treatment, CPS became “an investigative service…a situation in which bad families suspected of making their children bad will be invaded and infiltrated.” Young- Breuhl has empathy for both parent and child, arguing that failure to support families is a manifestation of childism.

West Virginia advocates push for stronger child abuse prevention laws – They met with 80 legislators and government officials yesterday, according to Charleston Daily Mail Jared Hunt, to invest $1 million in prevention programs and push for a bill that would “raise the fine for failing to immediately report suspected abuse from $100 to $1,000.”

“We know what works,” said Jim McKay, state coordinator with Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia. “There are proven strategies such as what’s being done in Massachusetts and elsewhere so that we can help prevent child abuse, but we need to invest in those programs.”

Interactive display on child abuse touring San Bernadino County, CA– The Lisa Project is a 1,400-square foot traveling exhibit that walks people through several rooms where they can experience the sights and sounds of child abuse through a child’s perspective. It’s funded by the Children’s Network of San Bernadino County, San Bernadino County Children and Family Services, the Children’s Fund and First 5 San Bernadino.

According to The Lisa Project web site:

This experience is fully immersing each guest into the world that these children face on a daily basis.  The exhibit is rated PG-13 due to some mature content.  Children under age 13 that come with guardians or parents will be allowed to walk through the exhibit but will not be given an audio device.  The result of this experience is a community that is made more aware with positive and helpful steps given at the end of the tour to protect children and strengthen families.

Here’s a video promo of the exhibit:

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