Media coverage of agency-related child maltreatment fatalities: Does it result in state legislative change intended to prevent future fatalities?

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16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates whether child maltreatment fatalities among children receiving services from state child welfare agencies spur substantive, as opposed to symbolic, legislative change to direct child welfare policy and practice. Using existing state-level data from three years, this study examined the influence of news stories, state characteristics, and child welfare policy practice factors on the passage of new child welfare legislations. The results suggest that high levels of media attention are indeed associated with new child welfare policy that is preventative in nature. Furthermore, state child welfare policy practice characteristics are also significantly related to the passage of new child maltreatment fatality-related legislation. The author makes recommendations for future research concerning the effectiveness of policy and practice change that results from child maltreatment fatalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-239
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Policy Practice
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Child maltreatment fatality
  • Child welfare system
  • Media influence
  • Policy change
  • Policy practice

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