The Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law last month came out with its grades for states’ reporting of child abuse fatalities or near-fatalities. Oklahoma went from a C+ in 2008 to a B this year, and promptly landed itself in hot water. That’s because of what seems to be a federal agency that’s bucking a federal law.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Training Act (CAPTA) requires that in cases of death or near-death, the case details “must be made public so that they can be examined to identify needed systemic reform”, and states must comply, according to the Institute’s 2012 report.
Just 4% of maltreatment reports result in the removal of a child from his/her home. Certainly, the removal of any child from a family is a serious decision. An error in judgment when separating a child from his or her family is fraught with mental trauma. Every jurisdiction in America imposes a series of measures designed to limit state abuses in cases of unjustified removal. But what about error in the other direction?