||Save the Family, Save the Child
||Vincent J. Fontana
||Dutton, © 1992
Dutton Children's Books
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014-3657
$22.95 (c) $5.99 (p)
This author needs no introduction to the literature on child abuse, as
he has been a well-known physician in the field for over 30 years.
Chapters in this book include crack babies, abandoned children, crisis
nurseries, etiology of abuse, traditional families, the Steinberg and
DeShaney cases, and the politics of child abuse in the United States.
The book closes with a list of resources for parents and a small section
on mandated reporters. There is no bibliography.
This easy-to-read book is loaded with war stories and individual case
histories. The author condemns our government's lack of concern for
helping families when there is child abuse. The traditional family
is the new hero of the 21st century; all without much effective help from
government programs. Although I counted over 250 government
programs, families are forced to negotiate the bureaucratic maze with
suffering and hardship to get minimal help for themselves and their
children. The federal government's giving responsibility for solving
the problems to, the states, given their budget problems, is a mistake.
The book highlights how little effective help has been given to families.
The book presents a clear account of what is wrong with child welfare and
child protection. Its main shortcoming is that it has no discussion of
erroneous charges. Although the examples are from a large urban area and a
rich state, the lessons should apply to all areas and states.
Reviewed by LeRoy Schultz, Professor of
Social Work, West Virginia University.