And Our Society
Introduction to Social Work, Section 1
Professor Mark De Ruyter
December 8, 2011
And Our Society
“Child poverty in America has become an enduring part of the social landscape that many families must navigate.” (Heflin & Acevedo, 2011, p. 634). There is much injustice in the upbringing of some children. The cause of these children being forced to live in the conditions they live in is their parents. Sometimes parents are completely absent or simply neglect the child, each situation varies. Our government is faced with this issue. Once the child is put in even remote danger, there is a problem. This problem becomes the government’s problem.
When a child is at risk or needing assistance the government must take control of the situation. This is where child welfare comes in. Child welfare, generally, is a government service run by agencies to protect children, encourage family stability, and prevent abuse and neglect in the home. Things like Child Protective Services (CPS) and in-home observations are all a part of child welfare. Investigations of maltreatment of children, foster care, living arrangements, counseling, financial aid, and adoption are all direct effects of the welfare system. The quality of welfare can differ depending on the various communities.
Before the child welfare agencies take control of the situation, they must have gone through a multistep process. There are so many factors that go unseen in children’s services. One component includes family involvement planning and capacity building activities. Without this aspect child welfare cannot make progress in the homes of children. Researchers studied different agencies to see how they incorporated family involvement planning and capacity building activities into their work. “Findings indicate that the child welfare agencies capacity building efforts primarily centered on human resource development, focusing on three areas: program staffing, family engagement, and agency buy-in.” (Williamson & Gray, 2011, p. 1212). These results show the importance of better developing the capacity of child welfare services and the staff and family members involved. This development process must be of primary concern and come before implementing all other programs that child welfare offers (Williamson & Gray, 2011, p. 1212).
Programs made to investigate the lives of the children are used to look into the reports of child abuse and neglect. A lot of the reports that they investigate do not advance beyond the initial investigation. This means that their investigation is not able to find any clear evidence of abuse or neglect. If they still believe that the kids living in the house are in danger/at risk for abuse, then the investigator will give the case to placement. A large part of this is foster care. Foster care is something that is very flexible. It can be a shelter created to house children short term, or it can be a family that is willing to take the child into their own home. Sometimes the child is housed for weeks, months, and even years. The setting of the foster care also varies. It can be a group setting where it is one large home filled with the foster children. It can also be a specialized home for foster children that deal with emotional and behavioral problems. (US Welfare System 2011)
Another service provided by child welfare is family preservation. Because foster homes are quickly filled up, family preservation is another option. The purpose family preservation is to supply the family with counseling and support for all types of family issues. “The family involved in the program may struggle with: substance abuse, domestic violence, emotional problems, mental illness, financial troubles, or simply lack parenting skills. This program is often used with more mild cases. It is used to keep the child in their home and give the parents the skills they need. It causes less stress on the...
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