At least 150-200 words for each response, 1 reference each, and please separate each response
Explanation of the role of family preservation in child welfare.
“Family preservations begin, as do most child welfare interventions, with a child being referred to an agency as being in danger of serious harm. A social worker investigates the complaint and, if the complaint is confirmed, decides whether the family is a good candidate for family preservation services. For the family to be considered an appropriate case for family preservation services, the child must be at risk of placement, but the social worker must be convinced that the child can remain safely in his or her own home if intensive services are needed.”(Popple & Leighninger, 2015, p.214)
Then explain whether research supports the assumption that foster care is harmful for children.
Not only does research support that foster care can be harmful for children and create more adverse childhood experiences it also show the lack of support and adoption for kids as they age and more than 400,000 kids age out of foster care each year and are left in worse conditions than those who are raised with family. ” In 2015, the mean age of children in foster care waiting to be adopted was 7.6 years, and 43% of these children were age 8 and older.” (Ahmann & Dokken, 2017, p. 43) This research shows how detrimental foster care is for children and especially those that age out and are more prone to incarceration, homelessness and violence than other kids their age.
Identify the gaps in your State foster care system than contribute to the idea that foster care is harmful to children,
Again, aging out of foster care continues to be a giant gap, even in Montana, and continues to contribute to the growing concern for children in foster care and its overall affects on their health and well-being. Montana does not have such a large population and so the population of children in foster care may be considerably less than other states, but the problem still remains, and kids who age out of the system go on to lead hardened lives compared to those who were raised around family and with support.
Compare the benefits and shortfalls of permanency planning and family preservation.
Permanency planning can be vital in helping the family empower themselves and strengthen the potential family rather than breaking them apart. Preserving the family also helps to ensure children have a higher chance of succeeding and not aging out of the foster care system. One downfall to such ideas, is in those cases where the safety of the child would be threatened if immediate removal did not happen, and in those cases, a social worker can be torn on what to do and a moral obligation to help may supersede the need to preserve the family. In those special cases, yes going against permanency and preserving the family is needed, but in all other cases, a social worker should try their hardest to keep the family intact, for the sake of the child’s future.
Ahmann, E., & Dokken, D. (2017). Supporting Youth Aging Out of Foster Care. Pediatric Nursing. 43(1), 43-48.
Popple, P.R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The Policy Based Profession: An Introduction to Social Welfare Policy Analysis for Social Workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Family preservation is the attempt to meet the needs of a child through home based, intensive means of therapy, in order to maintain the stability of the child in their own environment. According to Popple & Leighninger (2015), “this approach is based on the belief that in many cases in which placement appears to be imminent, it is possible to prevent placement by provision of intense services delivered in the child’s home over a brief, time-limited period. These services values include: Families should be maintained together whenever possible, children need continuity and stability in their lives, and separation has detrimental effects on both adults and children” (p.213). I feel as though when keeping these values in mind, that often times it is in the best interest of the children and families involved if efforts are made to deliver the needed interventions, within their home setting, rather than removing the children from the home and placing them in an unfamiliar environment. “A primary goal of intensive family preservation services (IFPS) is to improve parenting skills and family functioning to prevent out-of-home placements for youth experiencing abuse or neglect in the home” (Hurley, et.al., 2012, p.1003). This being stated, if carried out properly, intensive family services, could likely be a very successful tool in sustaining child welfare and allowing them to remain in the environment they know, with family members they love.
In the state of Alabama, children are removed from the home and placed in foster care, or in the local children’s home, only in the case of child abuse or endangerment. Other offenses are treated with attempts at family preservation, and mandated parenting classes, and numerous home visits. Children in such cases are also closely followed at school by counselors, as well as, case workers. “Alabama is consistently ranked among the top states for some child safety and protection measures” (Burch & Miller, 2014, para.3).
As a social worker, I feel there is an obligation to the welfare of children to first attempt family preservation. If this attempt fails, then permanency planning can then ensue. Most children suffer more at the hands of others when placed in permanency, and are mistreated simply due to the fact that there is no blood relation. If family preservation cannot be successfully gained, then permanency plans should be put into place using the components of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act which states “the requirement that states develop permanency plans for children by the time the children were in out-of-home care for eighteen months. The second provision was that states make “reasonable efforts” to maintain a family before they remove a child from the child’s birth parent(s) and “reasonable efforts” to reunify a family before establishing a permanency plan of adoption” (Gelles, 2016, p.739-740). However, there must be careful follow through with either plan. If I child is left in the same environment, we as social workers must maintain careful observation of the case, as well as one on one behavior modifications with the parents and family members involved. There is a fine line to walk between treating the adults as the clients and the child as the client. Lastly, if family preservation cannot be obtained, it is important to have a permanency plan in place that will allow for the most seamless transition for the child involved.
Gelles, R.J., (2016). Why the American child welfare system is not child centered. William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 24: 733-753. Retrieved from Walden University Library databases.
Hurley, K.D., Griffith, A., Ingram, S., Bolivar, C., Mason, W.A., & Trout, A., (2012). An approach to examining the proximal and intermediate outcomes of an intensive family preservation program. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 21:1003-1017. Retrieved from Walden University Library databases.
Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2015).The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers.(6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.