by Marisa Bordowitz
- Child welfare entails services imparted to at risk children and their families (who have been referred to child protective services due to neglect or abuse). Experiencing such maltreatment is wholly emotionally taxing. Children essentially, (in many ways) are voiceless. They need to be advocated for. SOCIAL WORKERS are a voice for the voiceless! (Rittner & Wodarski, 1999. p. 217)
- Intensive family services have been implemented recently which means child welfare has undergone some changes. For instance, foster care has been the central means of protection but in attempts to amend families (and in part to avoid the transience of foster care) , intensified family services/family preservation programs are being developed. These services call for highly trained social workers well informed on family-based interventions, crisis stabilization, family dynamics, advocacy (of course!), and brokering services. (Rittner & Wodarski, 1999. p. 228)
- Social workers also must: Prepare parents or families for their children’s homecoming (as children are liable to change in foster care or other out-of-home placements prompting feelings of confusion and unforeseen behavior). They must reacquaint families and provide some direction in coping with (and responding to) aforementioned unforeseen behavior. Often children also feel loss (having acclimated/attaching themselves to their foster homes) and social workers can provide assistance there as well. (Rittner & Wodarski, 1999. p. 228)
- Neglect is the failure of caretakers to meet a child’s physical, emotional, mental, educational, and/or social needs. 52 % of about 1 million child abuse cases are caused by neglect. 12 % of these cases encompass sexual abuse, 25 % physical abuse and the remainder emotional or psychological abuse (Dinitto & Mcneece, 2008. p.239)
- Social workers are instrumental to children as they recover from violence, poverty, neglect and truly anything impeding a child’s physical and emotional well-being (DiNitto& McNeece, 2008, p.239)
Rittner, B., & Wodarski, J. (1999). Differential uses for BSW and MSW educated social workers in child welfare services. Children and Youth Services Review, 21(3), 217-235.
DiNitto, D., & McNeece, C. (2008). Social work: Issues and opportunities in a challenging profession (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.