Vulnerable Children, Vulnerable Families
The Social Construction of Child Abuse
In Vulnerable Children, Vulnerable Families: The Social Construction of Child Abuse, a study of parents and children involved in abusive relationships, Susan Janko explores many important aspects of child abuse, including discussions of determinants, statistics of occurrence, social views, and the legal system. After grounding the reader in a theoretical context, the author describes her own empirical study of parents who have abused their children. Through three case studies, she presents detailed histories and the parents' own perspectives as she traces their stories from their own childhoods, to their having children, to their becoming abusive, as well as their subsequent involvement with child custody services and the other legal ramifications of their abuse.
Janko explores the advantages and disadvantages of currently available programs for assisting parents in preventing maltreatment of children, offering programmatic suggestions and a critique of philosophic goals. Through the use of extensive interview materials, Janko helps the reader grasp the experience, concerns, and beliefs of these parents, as well as of authorities in the child protective services. Through her patiently detailed, compassionate, and thoughtful book, the author offers an insightful insider's look at a major problem in violence prevention.