This Article argues that the focus of child welfare should be upon the adequacy of reasonable services provided to parents prior to and after their child has been declared dependent because of an abuse or neglect allegation. Admittedly, recent federal legislation funding rehabilitation services while permitting a child to remain with an offending parent may result in less trauma, but this feature should not distract from the point that states must develop adequate reasonable services, and these must be provided within a specified period of time. The consequence of inadequate reasonable services, unable to address adverse conduct within a specified time frame, is the termination of parental rights. As such, remaining with the parents while services are offered is a temporary respite. The point is simple: to adequately address neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children, both preventative and remedying services must be made available earlier so that what is reasonable becomes what is effective.
Raymond C. O'Brien, Child Welfare Requires Adequate Remedial Services, 92 Miss. L.J. 107 (2022).