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Sandra Meucci

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What Is a Children’s Policy, Anyway?

Sandra Meucci shows how children’s needs for protection is a problematic basis for social policy. Not only does “child protection” derive from an implicitly patronizing power relationship with children, but “protective” policy has also historically been driven by adult fears over the “dangerous classes” of immigrant children, illiteracy, and degeneracy. In almost equal measure, children’s policy designed to protect children from neglect, exploitation, and abuse has resulted in the displacement and incarceration of young people into juvenile correctional facilities. The author draws implications from this policy legacy for more promising ways to develop new policy issues and constituencies within the current children’s policy landscape.

assimilation, child labor, child welfare, children’s rights, participatory democracy, public health, social policy, social work, urban policy

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 24, No. 3 (1997): 105-124