Licensing Parents: Can We Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect?

By Jack C. Westman | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
A New Way of Thinking about
Children

As children decline as a proportion of the American population, their lives become more precious, and our responsibility to them even greater. The test now is whether we are motivated to promote policies that we know can reverse these alarming trends in the 1990s, or whether we will enter the 21st century besieged by the worst effects of our failure.

-- U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, 19891

I am attracted to working with children because much can be done to help them during their formative years. It is rewarding to see youngsters shift from being seen as a problems in the lives of adults to being sources of satisfaction and pleasure. Those of us who work with children frequently see that kind of result. It keeps us going. All too often, however, we feel helpless when the world in which children live undermines our efforts to help them. We know that the way our society views children and parenting must change.

If we ever are to solve our nation's critical social problems, we need a new way of thinking about children. We must overcome the lack of interest in the welfare of others inherent in individualism and the crisis --

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