Saving Our Kids: Child Protection in America


ACLS Fellowship Program


Department of History/School of Law


I analyze child protection in America as an ideal and a set of policies from the 1870s to the present. This study chronicles recurrent public and private efforts to protect children from a variety of actual and perceived threats to their physical and moral well-being, most prominently physical and sexual abuse, obscenity, labor, sexuality, disability, and delinquency. I demonstrate why child protection is a particularly revealing means of tracing the changing place of children in American society and the development of modern American social policy.