Perceptions About Intervention Into The Family:
Most participants agreed that there are circumstances when it is appropriate for the community, through a government agency, to intervene into a family situation that appears to be potentially harmful to children. However, many of the participants, particularly in Colorado and Kentucky, agreed but expressed great hesitance.
· There is already enough government involvement in citizens’ lives.
· Government intervention has had a negative impact on child-rearing.
· Parents have become afraid of government.
· Parents fear of disciplining their children is creating a generation of willful and disrespectful kids.
· Intervention does not serve any purpose because workers are too quick to return children to their birth parents.
· The allegations of abuse may be wrong and parents can be falsely accused. What happens then?
· Should the government be the one determining the definition of what is abuse or neglect?
· What assurances does the public have that the child will be better off if he is removed from his family?
Participants generally agreed that intervention (by government) should occur when the situation is extreme, but ONLY when it really is extreme.
· A child is being sexually abused.
· A child is beaten to the point where marks are left or bones are broken.
· The situation is life-threatening.
· A young child is left all day without food.
· There is alcohol or drug abuse, violence, or criminal activity in the home.
Expressing a pervasive concern, participants emphasized that government should not intervene into the lives of families when reasonable parents are disciplining their children.