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PHOTO BY Tom Croke
Cindy H. Liu, Ph.D., notes that a parent’s mental illness might adversely affect a child in multiple ways. She is an instructor at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Predictive neglect: programs may modify outcomes

By Phyllis Hanlon

In spite of awareness and education campaigns, mental illness still carries a stigma that can affect individuals in the community, workplace and home. For families, a mental health diagnosis can have devastating consequences when it leads to termination of parental rights under the “predictive neglect” doctrine. A legal term, predictive neglect refers to the removal of a child from the home when there is reasonable certainty the child is in danger, says Barbara Claire, agency legal director for Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF). “But this is more about abuse. For instance, if three kids previously had been abused, [More]