Expanding the Legal Framework for Child Protection: Recognition of and Response to Child Exposure to Domestic Violence in California Lawedit
Social constructionists argue that human behaviors or conditions only become social problems when they are recognized, labeled, and acted upon by a group of people or society. While domestic violence has been recognized as a social problem since the 1970s, child exposure to domestic violence has only recently received similar recognition. Through a review of changes made to California law between 1995 and 2015, appellate court decisions, and policy documents, this article examines the ways in which child exposure to domestic violence is constituted and problematized through law and how these changes expand the legal framework for child protection. Implications for the social services in California and elsewhere are discussed.