When it comes to abuse and neglect, abuse is the one that commands our attention. Abuse is easier to document, notice and punish. But neglect is far more common and has a much greater impact on our society. Neglect alters a child’s neurological development, which often leads to cognitive and behavioral problems that persist into adulthood.
According to Partners for Our Children, the University of Washington-affiliated nonprofit, there were 4,187 children in some kind of state-sponsored care because of neglect on January 1, 2014. That's many, many more than the 756 cases of physical abuse and the 179 cases of sexual abuse.
Do we have the proper services in place to identify and address neglect early on? Are we devoting enough resources to that kind of preventive care? Does the way we deliver our current services solve or perpetuate the problem? And what do race, poverty and cultural values have to do with it?
I discuss these and other issues with Eric Trupin, Vice Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, and his son Casey Trupin, Coordinating Attorney for the Children and Youth Project at Columbia Legal Services. Father and son are long time advocates for Washington's at-risk youth. Together we explore how neglect affects children, families and society at large — and what we can do about it.
To listen to the podcast just click on the red circle below.