Adelaida (Adele) Jasperse, JD, is a Masters of Bioethics (MBE) candidate at the Harvard Medical School.
FXB: What do you see as the biggest overall challenges in Child Protection these days?
Adele Jasperse: In my view, the biggest overall challenge in Child Protection, nationally, is directing and aligning social services programs toward the primary goal of addressing the underlying conditions that give rise to child protections concerns, such as poverty, regional segregation, implicit and explicit racism as well as educational and health inequities. Globally, the greatest challenge is funding and implementing policies that prioritize the children of the most vulnerable countries.
FXB: How do you think academic and scholarly work can inform child protection approaches? Have you seen any good examples of this in the real world?
Adele Jasperse: The academic and scholarly work can inform Child Protection in various ways including the identification of root cause issues, the research of those issues and the provision of conceptual frameworks and policy designs to tackle the most fundamental concerns. One example of the knowledge generated through scholarly work includes the understanding that investing in early childhood development is critical not only for the wellbeing and thriving of the individual child but also for national and global prosperity.
FXB: If you work in a specific region, are there region-specific challenges you see? How do you hope to see these addressed?
Adele Jasperse: My work in the child welfare arena in the state of Massachusetts has made me aware of the great need for aligning services and resources to strengthen and invest in our state’s poor and most vulnerable families so that they may be able to successfully provide proper care and protection for their children. This would require shifting the focus of our Child Protection from an anti-abuse to an anti-poverty system — based in prevention instead of intervention — and making investing in early childhood care and development a priority.