Susan Orr - Public Health Positions - Child Protection

Child Protection

In 1999, while associated with the Reason Public Policy Institute, Orr published a series of endorsements for reforming child protection efforts. She recommended narrowing the definition of what is child abuse and neglect by restricting it to assault and serious neglect arguing that Child Protective Services (CPS) are "intruding into too many families' lives unnecessarily." She advocated moving investigations from CPS to police departments. She argued against helping the family "to attempt to repair or heal". Instead, she supported treating incidents only as a criminal matter. She called for the repeal of mandatory reporting requirements which require people who work with children to report suspicions of child abuse. She argued these laws encourage unnecessary reporting and discouraged neighbors from directly helping the troubled family. In the end, CPS would be involved only with voluntary services such as parenting advice. and, further, should be privatized.

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