After the Cradle Falls: What Child Abuse Is, How We Respond To It, And What You Can Do About it

ISBN : 9780190653026

Melissa Jonson-Reid ; Brett Drake
248 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Dec 2017
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There may be no other social problem so common, yet so little understood by the general public, as child abuse and neglect. This book is intended to help remedy that situation. After the Cradle Falls integrates examples from folklore, songs, and news articles with the latest summary of empirical research to create an accessible and engaging work intended to provoke the reader to think about how to address the issue of child abuse and neglect in America. Written in a conversational style, the book engages the reader in thinking through why maltreatment occurs, what it looks like, and what we do and do not know. Most importantly, it asks the reader to become involved in the solution based on their own conclusions and values.

The contingent in the US that believes that child maltreatment is not "real" but rather a socially constructed attempt to punish parents is categorically false and easily refuted by data. Given the prevailing state of widespread public misunderstanding about child abuse, its causes and effects, and the involved systems, After the Cradle Falls is particularly current, relevant, and useful. It is a must-read for students, professionals in child advocacy or family services agencies, and policymakers.


1. A Brief History of Child Abuse and Neglect: From Nursery Rhymes to Mary Ellen to Today.
2. A Crash Course in Child Protection
3. Good Parenting or Physical Abuse?
4. What Neglect is And Why it Isn't Just Poverty
5. Words Can Hurt: Emotional Abuse
6. Protecting Women vs. Protecting Children. Must It Be Either/Or?
7. Child Sexual Abuse: Stranger Danger or a Danger Closer to Home?
8. Why Didn't They Say Something? Reporters Who Don't, Children Who Don't, Children Who Can't
9. Resilience and Treatment
10. Child Protection: A Broken System? An Evil System? A System at All? Does Everyone Hate CPS?
11. A Fairy Tale Ending? What You Can Do & What We Can Do Together
Appendix: Want to Read, Watch or Listen More?

About the author: 

Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, MSW, is Ralph & Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work and directs the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention at Washington University. Prior to academia, she administered school-based programming for youth in foster care and worked as a domestic violence counselor. Her work focuses on understanding how children's policy and services impact longer term outcomes as well as innovations to existing programs to prevent maltreatment.; Brett Drake, PhD, MSW, is Professor of Social Work at Washington University. Prior to academia, he worked as a child protection worker in a child welfare agency. His work focuses on the epidemiology of child maltreatment, maltreatment reporting and the response to reports, and the intersection of poverty and maltreatment.

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