6 Reasons Why Social Work with Children is Important

1.The prevalence of child abuse that exists in America today

Child abuse can take various forms, which include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. 77% of maltreatment perpetrators are parents, with women accounting for a high number of neglect cases, and men accounting for a high number of sexual abuse cases. A social worker can intervene in abuse cases by placing a child in a safer environment. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)

2.Children living in poverty, and associated problems

In America, 13 million children are living in poverty, with children living in poverty at an elevated risk of maltreatment. Children living in poverty also have a greater chance of illness, due to unsanitary conditions. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)

3.The association between drug abuse and child maltreatment

Drug abuse by parents has been found to be highly correlated with child maltreatment. The result of parents abusing drugs is the child having to assume the responsibility the parent otherwise would. For example, a child may have to provide primary care for their siblings while also worrying about food. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)

4.Children of teenage parents

A child of teen parents has an increased risk of poverty, as teen parents are thought to not be prepared to support their child financially. Social workers working in schools may help aid teen parents through education about caring for their child. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)

5.Children not receiving proper healthcare

Unfortunately, some healthcare providers don’t like the use of medicaid and so parents who are misinformed will lead to their children not receiving healthcare for extensive amounts of time (Class Lecture, 3/24/2016). Additionally, 12% of American children have no form of health insurance. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)

6.Unclear custody of a child

Difficulties arise when a child’s custody is uncertain, and social workers may provide assistance in these instances. Divorce may be a difficult time for a child, as they feel intense negative feelings as a result of potential fighting between the parents. Social workers help parents to make the appropriate custody decisions for the child. A social worker may also help children of parents who are incarcerated or deceased find homes. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)

by David Montes


DiNitto, D. M., & McNeece, C. A. (2008). Social Work: Issues and opportunities in a challenging profession. Lyceum Books, (3rd Edition).

Kida, Luann. Class Lecture, 3/24/2016.


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