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Child welfare includes the many policies and programs made to help families, promote a healthy environment, protect kids, and meet their needs. One of the main goals of child welfare is to meet helpless children’s emotional, behavioral, and health related needs. It gives them access to resources they need to succeed even with conditions like poverty and poor health care, that they wouldn’t be able to have access to on their own, so they can grow up in a healthy, nurturing environment. Child welfare helps to empower families by building on strengths, so parents can provide for and protect their kids, helps to improve internal family conditions like interpersonal dynamics, communication, substance abuse, and conflict. It also helps protect kids from neglect and abuse and makes permanent family living conditions available through adoption or transfer of guardianship when needed. Child welfare has always been a need and public agencies have always been there to step in. Areas of service include foster care and adoption, in-home family-centered services, child protective services, and residential services. The reason I chose this topic is because I believe what a child goes through, while growing up, shapes them into the person they become in the future. I also believe that all kids have the right to live a life free from all violence, are protected when necessary, and grow in a safe family environment. With child welfare laws and jobs enforcing child safety, I think children will get the care and protection they need. Sometimes with families, there are issues that can arise and having the opportunity to get the help one needs to solve those conflicts is very assuring, to get them back on the right path.
Literature Review
A family is a primary group whose members assume certain obligations for each other and usually share common residency, for example, living together. This shows how flexible the conception of family has become. Child Welfare is defined as the network of policies and programs designed to empower families, promote a healthy environment, protect children, and meet children’s needs. Child maltreatment is the wide spread term for multiple different types of abuse. First, physical abuse which occurs when a child younger than 18 years old has experienced an injury, or risk of an injury and as a result of having been hit with a hand or other object or having been kicked, shaken, thrown, burned, stabbed, or choked by a parent or guardian. Sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child where consent is not or cannot be given. Child neglect is the failure of a parent, guardian, or other caregiver to provide for a child’s basic needs. Lastly, psychological maltreatment/abuse involves a repeated pattern of behavior that makes a child believe that he or she is unwanted, worthless, they think they’re only valued to meet other’s needs, or is threatened with physical or psychological attack.
Foster care is available for our nation’s most vulnerable children and adolescents. Their ability to provide care is impacted directly and indirectly by their actions with public welfare agencies and workers. A study examined the perspectives of 1,095 foster parents in a southwestern state in the US regarding what they think child welfare workers are doing well. In this study, the parents suggested ways to improve relationships between foster care providers and child welfare workers. The parents applauded caseworkers who were responsive to their needs and provided continuous substantial and emotional support, they also believed there was a need for improved communication and enhanced teamwork. Understanding the views of foster parents can improve relationships between child welfare workers and foster parents. It can also improve recruitment and retention efforts of foster parents, prevent children from being taken away from their foster homes because of license closure, and it would improve the overall wellbeing of children and families that are placed in child welfare organizations.
Originally, child welfare systems were created to protect mistreated children. Adolescents today can be involved with child welfare for reasons other than mistreatment. One of the ways adolescents could be involved in the child welfare system is because of behavioral issues. Adolescents with behavioral issues are more commonly to be place in the corrections system. Another study examined the characteristics and risk factors of certain kids/adolescents and they were able to predict stability at case closure for youth involved in child welfare mostly for behavioral reasons. The study consisted of 5,691 youth children ages 10 to 17 that lived in Colorado between 2007 and 2013. A model showed the possibilities of kids returning to their homes and kids who were unable to return home and had to be placed elsewhere throughout case involvement. Longer case duration, felony involvement, multiple child welfare placement, s, crimes against people or property, running away, truancy, and gang membership have a positive reaction with temporary outcomes. Services offered by the child welfare system are negatively related to temporary outcomes.
Bruce Thyer says, children, youth, and families served by child welfare professionals should be provided with services that are reasonably well-supported by scientific evidence, when such knowledge exists. Multiple clearinghouses and databases have been created in years that list a variety of child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, family, and educational services. Child Welfare offers multiple methods of the levels of evidence for each service listed. Some interventions are said to have strong evidence of their success and can be called research supported. Some interventions aren’t supported whatsoever, and they can potentially be harmful. This article describes a summary of these major databases, programs and practices for potential use in child welfare.
According to Marianne Daehlen, despite the knowledge about child welfare clients educational disadvantage, we know less about the persons progress through the educational system. Based on the data, the study looked at educational transitions following primary school and the first 3 years of secondary school, which links to the transition following middle school and junior high school to the first years of high school. Its argued that when examining educational success in the child welfare population its essential to analyze whether child welfare clients follow the academic or vocational track. The degree to which educational transitions are related to gender, school performance and parental education was also examined. Child welfare
client’s educational transitions were compared with those of a comparison sample from the general population and the analyses showed that after completing primary school, child welfare clients most often go on the vocation track and then they usually drop out of school. These results are related to low school performance and low parental education. Child welfare clients success rates are somewhat lower in the vocational track rather than in the academic track and then decrease during upper secondary school.
Implication
Working with children and families is one of the most skilled, challenging yet rewarding areas of social work. Social workers need to be able to work with a diverse group of children and their families. They work with anyone from babies to teenagers, single parents to two-parent families and multi-career families. They also work with a diverse group of professionals like the police, schools, hospitals, health centers and community organizations. Social workers need to be able to understand the law, the different policies and legislation that comes with working with children and families, while still developing their own skills. The skills needed include communication, preparation and planning, intervention, recognition, identification and assessment of harm, recording and reporting the incidence, managing oneself and the work, problem solving, research and analysis along with decision making. According to the NASW Delegate Assembly, the following broad ethics principals are based on social workers core values. These values include service, social justice, dignity, and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These principals are examples of what all social workers should hold close to them. Service should be social workers primary goal, to help people in need and to address social problems. Social Justice is social workers ability to challenge any social injustices. Social workers must respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person which is the dignity and worth of the person. Importance of human relationships is how social workers recognize the central importance of human relationships. Social workers must behave in a trustworthy manner, otherwise known as their integrity. They must practice within their area of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise. An ongoing part of the social workers role is to evaluate the effectiveness of policy at the macro level and advocate for positive change wherever may be needed.
Conclusion
In conclusion, Ive learned many things while completeing this research about social workers within children and families. I learmed that overall social workers must be sensitive to the varios configurations families may take and appreciate the many aspects of diversity. Open mindedness is essential when assessing the strengths of any family group, regardless of its structure. Workers should make assumptions about how families should be but should work with the family group that is. Social workers play a very important role in this field and they are assential for the wellbeing of children and families.

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