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Public Policy and Administration


Raj Singh


Despite efforts and financial resources invested in the prevention of child abuse and neglect in New York City (NYC), many children are still in danger of being victimized by their parents or caregivers. The general public's assumption is that the NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS) either does not have efficient policies, programs, or laws to protect at-risk children, or these are not being properly implemented. The purpose of this qualitative study was to provide a thorough analysis of ACS policies, programs, and laws based on information gained from interviews with child welfare experts. Newberger and Newberger's social support theory provided the theoretical framework for the study. The methodology was a holistic case study design in which data were analyzed and collected through semi structured face-to-face interviews with 12 child welfare experts, archival records, and publicly available documents from ACS, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and NYC family court websites. Five themes emerged after the data were inductively coded and subjected to a content analytical procedure: implementation of programs, policies, and laws; areas of policies and programs that need improvement; reasons for failure of child abuse prevention; communication problems; and risk factors for child abuse and neglect. The key finding of this study was that child abuse and neglect prevention policies, programs, and laws were not adequately implemented. The study concludes with recommendations to retrain workers and to conduct a reexamination of existing child abuse prevention policies, programs, and laws to meet the needs of NYC at-risk children.

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