A Balancing Act

Preserving Family Autonomy and Protecting the Child
  • Phyllis W. Beck


Legal policy in the United States relating to the family is based on two deep, firmly-held convictions: one, that the internal life of the family is immune from government interference unless the state can demonstrate a significant reason to intervene (Westin, 1967) and two, that both the family and its individual members have constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights (Roe v. Wade, 1973).1 Nevertheless, the government has inter-meddled in family affairs and continues to do so at a sharply escalating rate. Such intrusion is omnipresent (Morris, Giller, Geach, & Szwed, 1980). It occurs each time any branch of the government, and especially the bureaucracy, takes action which affects the family and the individual members in it.


Foster Care Juvenile Court Natural Parent Foster Family Natural Home 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis W. Beck
    • 1
  1. 1.Superior Court of PennsylvaniaNorristownUSA

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