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Evolutionary Perspectives on Child Welfare Law

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Document pages: 34 pages

Abstract: Evolutionary theory and behavioral biology research have produced knowledge that is potentially useful in addressing violence against children. This chapter highlights two areas of child welfare law, policy, and practice for which this new knowledge has significant implications. First, the relevant behavioral studies contribute to the construction of research-based risk assessment tools through the identification of conditions or situations that increase the risk of violent acts against children. Second, the research supports the development of criteria for foster care placement decisions through the delineation of factors that predict the relative level of parental investment expected from different types of foster parents. This chapter also discusses the potential for additional research inquiries based on evolutionary theory that may have important implications for public child welfare systems.

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