According to Champion (Ch. 1), “Parens patriae is a concept that originated with the King of England during the twelfth century. It means literally the father of the country. Applied to juvenile matters, parens patriae means that the king is in charge of, makes decisions about, and has the responsibility for all matters involving juveniles.” After kids turned seven years old if they committed a crime, the king was the one who decided their fate. Juveniles did not have any rights in the court system. The state became assumed responsibility for juveniles behavior after the age of seven instead of the children’s parents. Supporting this theory McGhee and Waterhouse (2007) states that, “children were wards of the court, and the court was vested with the responsibility of safeguarding their welfare.” Parents were responsible for making children and the state was responsible for making them productive members of society, as well as, dealing with them when they were not.
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