What is Child Welfare • Involves providing social services to children and young people whose parents are not able to adequately fulfill their child-rearing responsibilities, or whose communities fail to provide resources and protection that families and children require (Child Welfare League of America).
The Case of Mary Ellen- 1894 • Before and After
Primary Goal of Child welfare • Promotion of the physical, social, and mental well-being of children and their families
Issues and Challenges Confronting Children • Poverty • Child care • Health care • Single-parent household • Teenage pregnancy • Child abuse and neglect
3 Million cases reported 63 % screened in Received investigations or assessments Who reported Teachers Police Social workers Physicians Family members Neighbors Community members 32% of investigations resulted in findings that the child or children were abused or neglected 879,000 children maltreated Neglect (63%) Medical neglect Physical abuse (19%) Sexual abuse (10%) Psychological maltreatment Child Maltreatment- National Year 2000 Child Abuse and Neglect Data System Information
Parents Relatives Babysitters Foster parents Fatalities 1,200 children annually Youngest children most vulnerable 85% under 6 Perpetrators
Reasons Why Parents/ Caregivers Maltreat Children • Individual parent factors • Family factors • Environmental factors
Individual Parent Factors • These are personality traits and social attributes frequently found among abusive parents.
Specific Individual Parent Factors • Feeling of low self-esteem • Excessive dependency (look to others to fulfill needs) • Serious difficulty coping with the demands of parenting • Impulsivity • Rigid personalities • Deficient consciences (inability to sympathize with their children). • Childhood deprivation (repeating child-rearing patterns they experienced). • Social isolation (cut off from their social environment).
Family Factors • Parental collusion • Scapegoating • Single parent status • Adolescent parents • Factors related to the child
Environmental Factors • Chronic stressors • Long-term problematic conditions with which a family must cope • Situational stressors • Changes in a family’s social situation. • Precipitating stressors • Incidents immediately triggering an incident of maltreatment • perceived child behavior is the most common. • Source: Faller & Ziefert (1981).
Scope and Functions of Child Welfare Services • Supportive service • Substitute services • Supplemental services
Supportive Services • Are those directed toward the maintenance of children in their homes. • The services are directed toward strengthening the parents in performing in a manner consistent with social expectations. • These services are directed towards supporting the family in time of trouble. • They are viewed as the first line of defense for families that are encountering.
Supportive Services: Child Protective Services • Those activities concerned “with preventing neglect, abuse and sexual exploitation of children by reaching out with social services to stabilize family life”. • An array of services designed to protect children who are neglected, abused or exploited (American Humane Association).
Goals of Child Protective Services • To safeguard the rights and protect the welfare of children. • To see that neglected and abused children are protected against further experiences and conditions detrimental to healthy growth and development. • To ensure that children receive the kind of care that will provide the essentials for their well-being and development at home or in appropriate substitute care.
Supportive: Pregnancy Counseling • Provides a broad array of services to unmarried parents. • This may include family planning, abortion counseling and other alternatives to out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
Supportive: Daycare • Provides care for the child outside of the home. • Service is usually directed toward cognitive, social, and physical growth of the child.
Supportive: Homemaker services • This is to sustain the family at a troubled time. • Services may be needed due to illness, the absence of a family member, or inadequate parenting skills.
Substitute Services • Are those designed to substitute for parental care when parents are not able to carry out their functions and the child must be removed from the home.
Substitute Services: Foster Care • Full-time, substitute care of children outside their own homes. • It is an alternative care for children whose parents are unable to care for them. • It is a primary service for victims of child abuse. • Foster care of children occurs in family homes, group homes, and institutions. • Foster parents receive board payments.
Reasons For Entry Into Foster Care • Protective service reasons (most cases) • Status offenders • Disabilities or handicaps • Parental condition or absence • Relinquishment of parental rights
Kinship Care • It is also called relative foster care, home of relative care, or relative family care. • This is where family members within the community provide the care, rather than “strangers”.
Adoption • This is "the method provided by law to establish the legal relationship of parent and child between persons who are not related by birth" (Child Welfare League of America). • The goal of adoption is to provide children with permanent homes.
Types of adoption • Agency adoption • Those arranged through private or public child welfare agencies. It offers the best safeguards for all concerned in the process.
Non-agency adoption/Independent Adoption • Relative adoption • Is the largest category of independent adoptions. It involves a stepparent who adopts a spouse's child. • Direct placement • Is the second largest category of independent adoptions. • It involves an arrangement made by the legal parents to someone known to them. • Non-for profit intermediary placement • This is where biological parents and prospective adoptive parents arrange the adoption through an intermediary who is not profiting financially from the placement. • For-profit intermediary placement • This is where an intermediary charges a high fee for arranging the adoption. • This type of adoption is against the law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Issues in Adoption • Transracial/transcultural adoption • Hard-to-place children • Right of access to information about the heritage of adopted children
Group Homes • Provide a form of congregate living for children who have special needs which make other types of placement difficult.
Guardianship • Services provided for children whose parents are unavailable to assume their responsibilities. • A court may appoint a social worker as a “guardian ad litem” (or next friend).
Supplemental Services • They are those directed toward supplementing the family in its functioning due to a deficit existing within the home. • Services are tangible in nature, usually financial, resulting from social insurance and public assistance programs.
Source of these slides • Child Welfare Policies and Services powerpoint presentation • Dr. Osei Darkwa • University of Illinois at Chicago
Thank You Feryal Younes Thank You Feryal Younes