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A social problem that is of personal importance to me is Abuse. Abuse can come in many different forms. You have physical abuse which is “the most easily recognized form of abuse. Physical abuse can be any kind of hitting, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, choking, throwing, beating, and other actions that cause physical injury, leave marks, or cause pain” (Lyness, 2013, p. 1). “Sexual abuse is any type of sexual contact between an adult and anyone younger than 18; between a significantly older child and a younger child; or if one person overpowers another, regardless of age.
Also If a family member sexually abuses another family member, this is called incest” (Lyness, 2013, p. 1). Emotional abuse can be the most difficult abuse to recognize “because there are usually no outward signs of the abuse. Emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when parents constantly criticize, threaten, or dismiss kids or teens until their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause damage just as physical abuse does” (Lyness, 2013, p. 1). Then you have Neglect which can also be difficult to identify and define. “Neglect occurs when a child or teen doesn’t have adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or supervision. Emotional neglect happens when a parent doesn’t provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to a child. This doesn’t mean that a parent doesn’t give a kid something he or she wants, like a new computer or a cell phone, but refers to more basic needs like food, shelter, and love” (Lyness, 2013, p. 1). Critical Analysis Reflections of Child Abuse Abuse is a common social problem everywhere; and here in America child abuse is one occurring and important social problem to me because, abused children can grow to have mental problems and they need treatment and recovery to get over that abuse or they will act out and forever be scarred.
They can develop attachment and reactive attachment disorders. Attachment is the deep connection established between a child and caregiver that deeply affect your child’s development and ability to express emotions and develop relationships. Attachment and reactive attachment disorders occur when negative experiences form in the child’s early relationship or when children can’t connect with a parent or primary caregiver. If a child feels “abandoned, isolated, powerless, or uncared for, for whatever reason they will learn that they can’t depend on others and the world is a dangerous and frightening place” (Smith & Segal). “The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child” (Smith & Segal ). I feel child abuse is so detrimental to society and the child being abuse because of the long domino affect it can have on a person. Child abuse personally saddens me because a child is an innocent human, their minds are still developing. To help prevent child abuse I personally believe it is our duty as human beings especially those in their right mind to pay attention to children and details. If you notice anything strange or out of the ordinary, stay observant and ask questions and report. Children are born to parent’s everyday who can be careless, substance abuser, or just parents that don’t know or understand, and it is only unfortunate for the child. Micro approachFrom the opportunity I had working with children in a psychiatric hospital setting I know for a fact that the earlier child abuse is detected and after the appropriate treatment and rehabilitation children recover better and have a better opportunity in a normal life vs. the children who didn’t get intervention until a later age.
My experience working in a psychiatric hospital I had to spend time with many children that were diagnosed and were suffering from different mental illness. Many of the children that are placed in the hospital are victims of child abuse. Abused children most likely suffer from psychological issues and mental illness more than children who were not abused. The department I worked in at the psychiatric hospital was the rehabilitation department. This department took a micro approach when we worked with our psychiatric patients individually. After careful evaluation from the psychologist and treatment team it is then decided if the patients are ready to participate in rehab therapy classes. Once a patient is admitted to the hospital and are allowed to have rehab therapy, they are added to the rehabilitation roster. The patient is allowed to pick which classes they would like to participate in and in each class the teacher begins case management on their students. This process is critical to a patients treatment team and treatment plan, because once a patient is enrolled in rehab therapy we the case worker begin documenting and tracking the patients progress and knowledge. A patients track record, and active participation in rehab therapy is a great look when it is time to decide if a patient is discharged or not. Macro approachOn a macro approach the psychiatric hospital I once worked in is government funded. This hospital is under the Health and Human services department; and is one of the only mental state hospitals in the Dallas Fort worth metropolis. My job title particularly had a micro level approach but the department of health and human services plays a big role in prevention and treatment of child abuse on a macro level.
The Human Services department contributes by having problem solving solution for problems like abuse. They use methods like evidence-based practice which is “a growing trend in the human services to provide services to clients based upon knowledge about their effectiveness” (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p. 21). They use these evidence-based practices to educate and prevent problems like child abuse by having interventions and classes that can “teach teen parents possible parenting skills” (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p. 21) and other tools for people in need that may not know or understand the needs of a child. The Human Services department protects the state by monitoring child care providers and investigating allegations of abuse. Abuse allegations go under the protective services department. This department detects and investigates children and any age group at risk for abuse. Stages of Social workBecause the practice of social work is very important and social workers can carry a huge responsibility we must be prepared in difficult situations like child abuse. A generalist practice approach would be a good start to deal with child abuse. This approach is called “The Generalist Intervention Model (GIM) and is oriented toward solving problems at multiple levels of intervention by implying a series of planned steps” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018, p. 3). A series of planned steps called the seven step planned change method. The stages of social work are engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, termination, and follow up. We would use “micro skills to engage (establish a relationship and begin effective communication with) the individual or individuals with whom you are talking about the problem” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018, p. 3). This first step is essential to understanding the client’s problem.
In this step I would greet my client, build rapport and try to gain a sense of trust. I would use this step to pay close attention and take notes. This is the step where I would discuss the services and resources I can and will offer or present. If I have a confidentiality document I would present this at the time, discuss my role and the clients role in this process. The second step of the model is assessment. At this point I will “assess the problem, which entails seeking information about various aspects of the problem” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018, p. 3). As the social worker in this case I would articulate the clear statement of what the problem is, and what the need to be in this situation. Create a clear description of the client system and make sure the client understands the interactions with other systems. In a Child Abuse case the worker will make sure the client understands the protective service system of actions and options. The thirds step of the process is planning. In this part of the process I would begin to formalize a contract if needed. Specify the objectives, problems, and the action steps in solving. This is the part that would involve the client, the social worker, the family, and or enforcement. We will begin ensuring safety and options to keep the child safe even if that means the child may have to be removed from the home. The fourth step is implementation. This step is also called the intervention phase. This is where we make sure we are following the plan put in place. We will watch and monitor the progress. The social worker will have to make sure the plan is still going as intended and make any changes if required.
The fifth step is Evaluation. In this stage we basically undergo the assessment or process that we put in place. Is the client safe? Have we figured out and presented all of the options that promote the well being of our client? In the case of child abuse we have to not only work with accommodating the child but we have to make sure the family understands whatever action that will be put in place after all of the steps where activated before the evaluation period. Did we attain the goal?The sixth step is termination. In the termination phase the social worker should be closing the case. This is the final step in the phase and is very important because the worker would decide if everything is in place and completed before terminating. The objectives should be achieved. Resources should have been provided and if necessary already contacted or put into place for the client. In the case of child abuse; is the child removed from the abusive environment? Are the clients living arrangements completed? Will the child have other family members to live with, or put into a foster care program? The other final stage according to our course text is the follow up phase. This stage is usually not needed but if needed, we would want to represent our client, and straighten out any problems or kinks that may have occurred. Some motives of services that define my passion for this social problem are religiously sanctioned actions based on my faith.
My Christian faith does require and encourage good works, and to teach and help others. Just alone knowing the innocence of children and their development process pushes me and gives me the compassion to want to help, prevent and eliminate something as awful as child abuse. I’ve had the opportunity to work with children that were abused but the children I worked with unfortunately were already scarred mentally and will forever have to live with a mental illness. Children that may suffer from mental illness still have the opportunity to live full prosper lives if they are properly educated about their illness and understand what may cause triggers and how to avoid unpleasant thoughts and feelings.
Children with mental illness must know the importance of taking their prescribed medicine, and not to resort to recreational drugs because those drugs will only alter the brain more and make it even more difficult to handle their mental illness. It is crucially important for us to educate our patients with information and resources about programs and activities that were available to the children. As I mentioned earlier it is evident that if you catch child abuse early enough children may cope better and have productive lives. From experience working with children from the age four and up; the younger children seem to recover better mentally and physically. I feel as if it is my duty especially as a future social worker to help and contribute to children and the abused in any way possible. Most children in abusive situations cannot speak on their own behalf; you must act for them if you think abuse is occurring. “Every adult in the state of Texas is required to make a report when child abuse is suspected. You do not have to investigate or be certain that abuse has occurred- you only have to suspect. Call 911 if you believe a child is in immediate danger, or if you do not get an appropriate response to other requests.
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