Essay on Child Welfare System
Number of words: 563
The child welfare system refers to a government agency that operates in most countries and is charged with child protection, including child abuse and child neglect reports. Their main objective, however, involves the promotion of the physical and emotional wellbeing of children, the promotion of their safety as well as that of their families by offering caregivers help in caring for them, and when the above cannot be successfully achieved, the reallocation of at-risk children with either next of kin or adoptive families. Decision-making within the child welfare system is a highly complicated procedure that is subject to both ethical considerations and legal ones (Oramas, 2017). The choices made are often in the context of competing priorities, and numerous such dilemmas arise in the process.
One such dilemma in recent times primarily involves the decision-making process on whether or not to remove Jonathan, a victim of child abuse and neglect whose name was changed to protect his identity in adherence to the twelfth ethical standard of human services, from the care of his abusive father upon his request and without a conclusive investigation on the situation at home or even a report (National Organization of Human Services, 2015). The child in question was a seven-year-old with severe verbal limitations, delays in language reception, and articulation disorder, all attributed to the severe neglect from his father. Additionally, upon further review following a fifth child protection report, facial bruising was observed on Jonathan and his siblings, painting a picture as to the extent of the abuse incurred by the children. Furthermore, Jonathan pleaded with the casework specialist to take him and place him in better care, even pointing to a picture in the room of a child smiling. Despite the child being a victim of considerable abuse and neglect and desperately wanting to be removed from the setting, the casework specialist could not immediately grant him the wish, displaying knowledge of local, state, and federal laws that dictate adherence to standard protocol.
The legal implication of this was that the verbal proof provided by Jonathan was not sufficient in the eyes of the law to warrant his immediate reallocation, while the ethical implication involved the fact that the casework specialist had to leave a known victim of child abuse in the same setting due to the law’s restrictions. This violated the specialist’s ethical standing as Jonathan may have continued to endure the same or otherwise worse abuse and neglect under his father’s care until his reallocation eight months later. This can be seen as ineffective as child abuse is allowed to continue due to the law’s restriction. I would have gone against my legal directives and followed my ethical inclination to rescue the child from the toxic and abusive environment.
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National Organization of Human Services (2015). Ethical standards for Human Services Professionals. Retrieved from https://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards.
Oramas, J. E. (2017). Counselling Ethics: Overview of Challenges, Responsibilities, Responsibilities and Recommended Practices. Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (1947-2900), 9(3), 47-58. Retrieved from EBSCO multi-search.