A child is an innocent figure only looking for love and care from those around them. No one can ever imagine that the lives of children are put in danger everyday. Child abuse is commonly known for physical marks such as bruises or broken bones. It is obvious that some marks are not from falling off a bike and those are the signs that appear that something is wrong with the child. According to the Florida Statue, abuse means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired.
Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child. [s. 39. 01(2),F. S. ]. However, there are several types of abuse. Emotional abuse and neglect can also mean making a child feel worthless, not paying attention to them, and putting them in dangerous situations. Whether it is physical or not child abuse is never an answer to a situation because the end result will only cause harm.
Some often wonder about child delinquents and the reason behind their actions. Children’s behavior can be the result of genetic, social, and environmental factors. In addition, it can relate to their emotional, cognitive, and physical characteristics. In this particular topic it is a factor as to why children become a delinquent. Some may debate that it is not a result of child abuse that children’s behavior become corrupt but there are behaviors that mirror what the child is going through in their life. I. Prevalence Once a child has been abused there are several outcomes for them as they grow up.
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With that outcome creates a strong relationship between child abuse and later delinquency. Being abused at a young age increases the occurrence of a child to become delinquent and results in being arrested. Researchers found that the prevalence of child abuse was a risk factor for delinquency, violent delinquency, and moderate delinquency. It was seen frequently in a more serious form of delinquency in dealing with assaults but not in lesser forms of delinquency such as underage drinking (Cross, 2003). On the other side of this issue some people believe that being abused as a child does not ecessarily mean that the child will become a delinquent. Abuse alone does not lead to an act of violence. It would seem that something peculiar about certain kinds of abuse would promote delinquency or that additional factors interact with abuse and together it will contribute to the development of antisocial, often aggressive behavior. Although about 20 percent of abused children go on to become delinquent, retrospective studies indicate that surprisingly high percentages of delinquents were previously abused, neglected, or both.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that approximately 3. 4 children per 1,000 per year are physically abused. These proportions provide some measure with which to compare the prevalence of a history of abuse in delinquents (Cicchetti, 2001). II. Effects on Children There are several effects on children involved in child abuse. These effects are so strong that a child may never be able to deal and cope with what they have experienced. Effects may range from having trouble in relationships with others to not being able to function in a work setting.
For children as young as twelve months old there are immediate effects of child abuse such as injuries resulting from shaking. Physical child abuse can vary from child to child depending on six factors: severity of the physical abuse, frequency of the abuse, age of the child when physical abuse begun, child’s relationship to the abuser, availability of support from people, and child’s ability to cope (Pipe, 2008). How hard a child is struck is only one aspect of severity. The object in which the child is struck with can also be a factor.
It does not mean that a fist or an open hand will cause less effects but, the measure of damaged done to the child can make a big difference in how the child will cope. It only takes one punch, one slap, or one broken bone to lead to a severe trauma and the more a child is abused on a regular basis the more effects will be placed on the child. If a child is being abused at a young age it will leave more of an impact on them. It will also show a bigger impression as they continue to age. As for the abuser, it is usually someone the child knows and has a close relationship with such as a parent.
When being close to the abuser it makes it harder for the child to betray their trust in telling others what is occurring. A child may even fear the abuser and is force to keep quiet so they will not face harsher punishments. Instead of having that person take care of them they are hurting the child. Sometimes a child has one person or friend who they can turn to when they feel lost or confused about what is happening to them but, when there is no one to lean on they may encounter feelings of abandonment which then adds on to more effects of abuse.
Coping strategies can also be a form of effects for children. An abused child may be the class clown in class where they use their humor to cover up their sufferings. Some other effects include lack of trust and relationship difficulties. Being abused by the one person who should be the first person to trust is putting a child in a position that no one is safe. By breaking that bond and trust with a child it will forever make it difficult for them to have a relationship with anyone.
They may never understand what a good relationship consists of since all they know is how to be abusive and controlling over another person. Another effect on children is feeling worthless. Some believe that name calling should not leave a mark on a person but for young children not knowing any better or understanding the concept of what is being done to them can make them truly believe whatever is being said to them. They will believe that they are not smart or pretty and grow up thinking that they are damaged and are good for nothing.
Lastly, abused children tend to have problems expressing their feelings and regulating their emotions. Some children keep quiet to themselves and hold all their emotions inside while others may lash out unexpectedly causing them to become aggressive and harming others. If these emotions are not dealt with right away it will carry on to their adulthood where they will struggle with issues such as anger and depression which then can lead to drugs and alcohol. The effects of abuse can continue on in a variety of ways but this is only a handful of effects that can occur. III.
Role of Professional Social Worker in addressing the issue A social worker, whether protective or one who has other job functions, is considered to be a professional (Popple and Leighninger, 2007). A professional is one who possesses the following: a systematic body of knowledge, authority because of his or her expertise, sanction from the community, a code of ethics, a professional culture, and an obligation to professionalism or to perform competently (Crowsson-Tower, 2010). As for child abuse, a social worker must know and understand what is going on in the home of an abusive child.
He or she will need to have the knowledge of how to work with the family and what they do and do not like. Being in this field of work a social worker will have the role of working with different systems such as the community and the government. They will need to be aware of what will always be best for the client even if it results in removing a child from the home. A child may not understand why they are being taken away from their home but the social worker will have to trust their instincts of how to handle the situation.
A social worker will always have the authority from their agency to take and place children into the foster care system. From knowledge, authority, and community sanctions social workers are able and are mandated to report any situation they feel should be reported. By committing these acts, a social worker is following the code of ethics as well as a professional mannerism. In addition, social workers and administrators may hold divergent views on the needs of the clients within the context of overall agency responsibilities.
Thus, there is a culture of related professionals who, despite similarities, are often quite different in their views and opinions (Crosson-Tower, 2010). Other roles a profession social worker must carry is having ethical competence. There are many diverse clients who social workers will come across and will need to be able to relate to their client’s values, language, history, traditions, and basic ways to accommodate the needs of the minority clients. Furthermore, when having clients that are young like children, social workers will need to know personal qualities such as showing warmth and sensitivity.
These qualities are crucial in this role as many children who have been abused do not understand how it feels to be nurtured. A social worker may not get carried away with their sensitive side as it is also their responsibility to provide structure and allocate the duties of the child’s case. IV. Intervention Techniques Once a child has been abused and a social worker has been informed everything becomes intensified when dealing with the family. An intervention process is then put into work where techniques are brought into the scene so no harm is done and no one will remain upset.
Effective intervention that is, to intervene so as to cause the least damage and prove the most helpful with culturally diverse populations necessitates several areas of expertise on the part of the worker and agency (Fontes, 2008; Leigh, 1998; Rothman, 2007). If there is a city with a high culture of Hipics, it is a good technique to have many case workers who are fluent in Spanish. Creating intervention techniques may be easy or difficult depending on the family. However, one main technique that is proven to be helpful is identifying the strengths of the family.
Before they know what they have done is wrong it is easier to develop a bond with them by assuring them that they can trust you as their social worker. As this trust is gained it is merely one step at a time and one problem at a time for the family. The social worker will then help the family choose their goals and how to go about accomplishing them. In this particular circumstance in child abuse there are a lot of resources that must be used during the intervention stage. A family will need to focus on treatment of an abusive parent, legal issues, employment, parenting skills, and any other services needed for the intervention.
Removing a child from the home may be best at this point since signs of abuse are obvious but it may also be a benefit for the parent where they are able to relieve any tension and focus on themselves. Techniques that are commonly used in intervention also consist of self-disclosure, instilling hope, working through resistance, and use of a sense of humor. Demonstrating similar stories on how people overcome problems in the same situation will help the client realize that they are not the only ones who have been put in their situation and it is possible for them to make a turnaround.
Instilling hope gives the client the strength and confidence in themselves and the ability to become a better person. There may be some parents who refuse to work through treatment but social workers should not take this as an offense as it may be that the parents have always been passive. The social worker will then have to work with the parents in trying to get to them to open up. Lastly, by demonstrating a sense of humor with laughter gives off a comfort to the client. V. Implications for Practice
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect however, in this profession one can never receive enough practice. Working with others is a big responsibility where the life of someone such as children is placed in your hands to protect. The most evident ways to practice for this career is to take as many courses as possible to prepare you for any and every situation possible. Never assume to work with only one client population as there are a various ethnicities. One must be able to work with diverse populations and be able to research on cultures if it is not known.
Some other suggestions for practice are to role play with others who are involved with working in the same field. Being put in a position is the experience that all future social workers need whether they are the client or the case worker. Researching on cases and learning the concepts behind the meaning of why and how protocols are used can be an immense amount of help. Volunteering as well will give the experience a person will need to work in this field. It is better to find out early on that this is a career one wants then to be stressed over why they chose to do it.
Shadowing workers can also give good practice on what to do and what not to do when working with clients. In the end, once you are placed in the field and are working with others, a social worker will grasp the concept and procedures of how to handle each case. As long as the passion is there to do what it best for the client the social worker will always be doing their job. References Chapter 39, Florida Statues and excerpts from the Florida rules of juvenile procedure. (2005). Tallahassee: Florida Cicchetti, D. (2001).
Child maltreatment: theory and research on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect. New York: New York Cross, Theodore P. , Wendy A. Walsh, Monique Simone, Lisa M. Jones, "Prosecution of Child Abuse: A Meta-Analysis of Rates of Criminal Justice Decisions," Trauma, Violence, & Abuse: A Review Journal. Volume 4 (October 2003): pages 323-340. Crosson-Tower, C. (2010). Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect (8th ed. ). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Fontes, L. A. (2008). Child Abuse and Culture. New York: Guilford. Leigh, J. W. (1998). Communicating for Cultural Competence.
Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Pipe, Margaret-Ellen, Yael Orbach, Michael Lamb, Craig B. Abbott, Heather Stewart, Do Best Practice Interviews with Child Abuse Victims Influence Case Processing? (pdf, 123 pages), Washington, D. C. , National Institute of Justice, U. S. Department of Justice, NCJ 224524, November 2008. Popple, P. R. , and Leighninger, I. (2007). Social Work, Social Welfare, and American Society. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Rothman. J. C. (2007). Cultural Competence in Process and Practice: Building Bridges. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson
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