Child Abuse and Social Work
Child abuse is horrible and it affects everyone in one way or another. Before 1963, there were no laws to protect the kids from abuse but thanks to social workers and other judicial people, there were laws passed (Pfohl). This paper is going to explain why it is so important for social workers to protect kids by talking about this history of abuse and why social workers need to be around. It will also discuss what social workers do today to prevent kids from being hurt.
Social workers are useful in just about every aspect of life but in my opinion this is one of the more important jobs of a social worker because your protecting those of the future. Abuse isn’t just physical, its also mental. And its been known that those who are abused and never treated will most likely turn around and abuse their own kids. Thus the cycle of abuse continues. This is why social workers are here, to stop the cycle of abuse. Child protective services are there to protect kids from their parents or from other authoritative people. Child abuse not only does physical damage but can mentally affect them as well.
According to the text book, the original power of authority was given only to the families. They believed that the parents knew best about what the kids needed but obviously as the years went by this became less true. The whole were used as a form of punishment and with no laws to protect kids it could have devastating effects (Pfohl). There are many examples of child abuse in history, like for example in the 17th century during the religion movement, it was thought as essential to a childs fear was to beat them within an inch of their life (Pfohl).
There are other examples of this back in history. Child beating was socially acceptable for a long time. It was just what was done and so no one thought any differently. There was a court case in North Carolina called State vs Pendergass, where they deemed that a parents judgements on punishment were correct and that there should only be criminal punishment if there was permanent injury (Pfohl). Social workers took up an interest in child abuse during the “House of Refugees” movement. In 1825, in
New York city, a home was built for troubled children, where kids would be sent to live in a controlled environment and grow up (Pfohl). These are kind of similar to shelters around today that take in delinquents and try to change them for better. Social workers were at the basis of this movement. The social work relationship with this problem is that these social workers are here to help save kids lives. According to the text book, a social worker works with the parents and the kids to provide and support and resources to help provide for a good home(textbook).
The social workers have to be careful and not infringe on the rights of parents while also trying to protect their kids from being hurt (textbook). Social workers are doing a lot to help kids. They start by getting a referral, whether its from a teacher or a doctor or a friend, the social worker must receive this before they can act because they cant step on the parents rights (textbook). Social workers then work closely with the families to try to get the resources they need to be a happy and healthy home, whether its group counseling or after school programs.
There are some situations in which a parent can no longer have the rights to have their kids. In these circumstances, there are group homes like foster care and residential care available to the kids. The difference between the two is that foster care is families who take care of kids for a period of time. Residential care are facilities to take care of delinquents or those who have a mental disorder and who are to much for a parent to handle (textbook). The last thing social workers do is to provide parents looking to adopt with kids.
Social workers work with future adoptive parents and after they are adopted to see if they would fit in the home or if they are transitioning correctly and to make sure these parents are fit to raise kids. These are just a few things social workers are doing to help kids. I think that we are doing a great job at protecting kids to the best of our abilities. The only thing I would change is making it more aware to everyone the effects of abuse and why they should report abuse the minute they suspect it.
There are some who suspect abuse and don’t say anything and that can be very detrimental to a child. We need to as a society step up and do as much as humanly possible to tackle child abuse. We need to stop the cycle of abuse so hopefully it will cycle its way out of our society. Which if it cycles its way out then we will hopefully see a future with minimal to no abuse. I mean I cant honestly say that we can get rid of abuse all together but we can try to get it down to such a small percentage that people will talk about it like it never happens anymore.
At the same time we need to make sure that the parents of these abused children are not allowed to abuse them anymore. This is child abuse in nut shell. The abuse is horrible and it is so detrimental to kids that it needs to be stopped. Social workers have exponentially increased their care in the last 100 years but we really need to work harder to remove the cycle of abuse out of our system. By leaving the children vulnerable in the past, we paved the way for abuse now its our turn as the future generation to step in and protect these kids better. http://www. jstor. org/stable/800083? seq=5
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