Parenting is indeed a grave responsibility. Even graver is the responsibility of the State to ensure the wellbeing of its children. Laws are in place that ensure the doctrine of Parens Patriae to be upheld in the cases of juvenile jurisdiction. However, some laws may provide legislation that undermine this doctrine. The following paper is a discussion of Parens Patriae, its brief history and instances of its violation
Keywords: parenting, responsibility, law
Child Abuse: Parents Patriae
Every child has the right to grow up and lead an independent and healthy life. Parens Patriae is a doctrine that obligates the responsibility of the State for the wellbeing of the children (Kindred, 1996). Although these rules may vary a little from country to country but their purpose is the same. It is to let parents and guardians understand their rights and duties that they have towards raising the child under their custody. Following paper is a discussion of the Parens Patriae.
Parens Patriae is a Latin term which translates to mean parents of the nation. It is a public policy to provide parenting care to children and individuals who are unable to take care of themselves. It was originally used for in capacitated adults in the sixteenth century but was then used for children also in the consecutive years.
Parens Patriae forms a legal norm for responsibility of parents, guardians, parenting bodies, interest groups and agencies in juvenile cases (Kindred, 1996). It is very important to make laws that clearly demarcate as to what activities of the parent or guardian may amount to abusive behavior for the child; as well as to provide children and incapacitated individuals with parenting requirements for their wellbeing.
Private agencies have been found to deviate state funds allocated for children, and poor, like Medicaid and IV-E Foster Care to bolster their as well as State profits (Daniel, 2010). Even in the medieval periods ward-ships of children were literally sold to mostly strangers for mere profits. This was an aversion from the responsibility that the doctrine of Parens decreed (Sir Coke, Thomas &, Fraser, 1826) (Venable, 1966).
It is the duty of parents as well as the state to ensure the wellbeing of children. Parens Patriae must be employed to make laws that ensure that no child, with parent or without is harmed in any way.
Hatcher D.L, (2010) Poverty Revenue: The Subversion of Fiscal Federalism, 52 ARIZ. L. REV. 675, 701–708 (2010). Retrieved from http://lawschool.unm.edu/nmlr/volumes/42/1/hatcher.pdf
Kindred, K.P. (1996) God Bless the Child: Poor Children, Parens Patriae, and a State Obligation to Provide Assistance. University of Nevada, Las Vegas -- William S. Boyd School of Law. Retrieved from http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1074&context=facpub
Venable, G.T. (1966). The Parens Patriae Theory and Its Effect on the Constitutional Limits of Juvenile Court Powers, 27 U. PITT. L. REV. 894 (1966).