Violence Against Children the Structure Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3060 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 21  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

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Unfortunately this structure of relationship is more likely to result in violence than kinship care directed by human service agencies. Kinship foster care which involves human services comprises the second largest group with over 400,000 where social services helps place a child with a relative who has been designated as the child's provider by the courts (Urban, 2003: Oct). This is a more structured solution, where children can be monitored for subjection to violence in a foster care setting.

Are kinship relationships truly a human services solution to violence against children from broken homes and other high risk socio-demographic factors? Statistics seem to indicate they are not. The majority of children in kinship relationships are minorities, 43% are black and 17% Hispanic (Urban, 2003: Oct). Nearly have of the children live in the South (Urban, 2003: Oct).

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Kinship care is not the answer to violence against children. More often than not children living in these relationships often live with families experiencing hardship because of some of the socio-demographics listed above. More than 54% of these children are living with families whose income is 200% or more below the poverty level (Urban, 2003: Oct). "55% also live with just a single caregiver, and 52% of those caregivers are over 50 years in age" (Urban, 2003: Oct). Many of the caregivers do not have a high school degree. All of these factors contribute to the likelihood that violence will occur within the familial relationship. These factors have been identified as risk factors that increase the likelihood that violence may occur within a family unit.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Violence Against Children the Structure Assignment

Why does this solution fail? The fact that the majority of children living in Kinship relationships are living in private setups means that the children, often abused and neglected, are not protected by state custody laws, and therefore are less likely to be receiving needed services social organizations can offer (URBAN, 2003). According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System, in fact only 131,000 of children living in kinship relationships were in state custody in 2001 (Urban, 2003: Oct). Without appropriate monitoring mechanisms in place, there is no way to guarantee that children are safe and secure in their new environments.

Human service agencies have taken into consideration the fact that many youths commit acts of violence themselves. When they are arrested and often incarcerated, they are "typically undergoing rapid physical, mental and emotional changes" that are not addressed adequately (Mears, 2004). Young people's experiences are often "compounded by new and changing social expectations" as they transition from adolescence into adulthood (Mears, 2004). Educators and health care providers as well as communities need to be on the look out for abuse in order to prevent a continuing pattern of abuse by neglected children in the future.

Recommendations for New Social/Psychological Approaches to Change Reform

One manner in which violence may be reduced against children is to focus on increased attention on the quality of child care during early childhood years (Kerlin, 2004). During 2000, states spent $20 billion dollars on child welfare services, in an effort to protect vulnerable children from violence, neglect and abuse (Geen, 2004). Child welfare services are funded by federal, state and local funds (Geen, 2004). Many of these agencies provide child care services. Child care agents including health care providers and educators need to be aware of the socio-demographic factors that are likely to impact a children's subjection to violence. They need to start teaching children about the realities of violence, and teaching them ways to cope with increased risk factors, including poverty and homelessness.

The United States is the world's leader for high rates of childhood homicide, suicide and firearm related deaths (NNCEV, 2003). Children should be made aware of these statistics. They must also be taught methods of coping with increased stress, which is often associated with living in high risk categories. Community organizations should be attempting to educate parents and foster care providers about violent statistics. Care providers need understand who is at increased risk for violence, and why.

Children living in high risk populations are likely to suffer from a decreased sense of self-esteem. Parents living in at risk populations including those facing economic hardship are more likely to also suffer under stress and thus more likely to suffer from or also commit acts of violence against their children. Community members and human service agencies have an obligation to identify families at risk and counsel them to prevent future violence from occurring.

The Children's Bureau is currently re-examining its approach to assessing and managing risk related to child violence, successfully thus far. The United States Department of Health and Human Services is currently home to the Children's Bureau, whose focus is matters related to child welfare, abuse and neglect, child protective services, family preservation and support, adoption, foster care and independent living (acf, 2003). The focal point for the office of child abuse and neglect is to provide leadership and direction "on issues of child maltreatment and the prevention of abuse and neglect under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act" (acf, 2003).

The organization works in collaboration with many other human services agencies and sponsors many special initiatives in the hopes that it can prevent abuse and neglect of high risk children. One positive aspect of the organization is that it is currently working on building networks of "community-based, prevention focused family resource and support programs" through a program called the "Community-Based Family Resource Support Program." This structure is perhaps the best proposed by human service agencies. The Community-based family forum supports improvement for systems which currently address abuse and neglect cases, and offers support to families through a diversity of easily accessibly resources.

CONCLUSION

Violence against children is on the rise within the United States, and human service agencies need to take a more pro-active stance in order to combat negative statistics. Violence against children is directly related to their subjection to a variety of high risk socio-demographic factors, including poverty, educational status and familial status. Many children subjected to violence at a young age end up committing violent acts as they grow older. The structure of violence against children has remained unchanged for several years, and takes the form of neglect, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and physical abuse. Traditional methods of intervening and protecting children have failed in some respects, because violence is on the rise in the United States. Because of this it is critical that human service agencies re-evaluate their approaches to combating violence against children.

One viable option for the future is teaching children and families the tools necessary to better cope with the stressors related to living in high risk populations. Stress is a major factor relating to violence. Children and parents who do not have the tools necessary to cope with these increased stressors are more likely to suffer from severe outcomes. Many parents are inadequately equipped to deal with the stresses they face on a daily basis, and thus do not have the knowledge necessary to teach their children appropriate coping mechanisms. Through education and communication, the likelihood that violence will continue is greatly reduced.

Bibliography

Altschuler, David M. & Brash, Rachel. (2004). "Adolescent and Teenage Offenders Confronting the Challenges and Opportunities of Reentry." Sage Publications: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, vol. 2, no.1

Anderson Moore, Kristin. S. Vandivere, & J. Ehrle. June 2000. "Socio-demographic Risk and Child Well-Being." Washington D.C.: The Urban Institute. New Federalism: National Survey of America's Families, Number B-19. Available: http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=309566

Carter L.S. Weithorn LA., Behrman RE. (1999). "Domestic Violence and Children: Analysis and Recommendations." The Future of Children 9(3): 4020, 1999 Winter.

Child Trends. (1999). Children and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Evaluating the Effects of State Welfare Policies on Children. Washington D.C.: Child Trends.

"Children's Bureau Organizational Structure." Available:

http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/aboutus/organiz.htm

Cole, M., and S.R. Cole, (1993). The Development of Children, 2nd Ed. New York: Scientific American

Erhle, J. & Geen, R. (2002). "Kin and Non-Kin Foster Care -- Findings from a National Survey." Children and Youth Services Review, 24: 55-78

Ehrle, J., Geen, R., & Clark R.L., (2001). Children Cared for by Relatives: Who are they and how are they faring? Washington D.C.: The Urban Institute. Assessing the New Federalism Policy Brief B-28

Geen, Rob & Bess, Roseana. (2000). "The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children: Changes in State Funding of Child Welfare Programs 1998-2000. Available: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/900608.pdf

Garmezy, N. (1993). "How Do State Policy Makers Think about Family Process and Child Development in Low-Income Families?" Unpublished Paper. Washington, D.C.: Child Trends

Jantz, A., R. Geen, R. Bee, C. Andrews, and V. Russell. (2002). The Continuing Evolution of State Kinship Care Policies. Washington D.C. The Urban Institute

Kerlin, Janelle. (2004). "Looking Beyond Government. The Transfer of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Model across States." January 2004. Available: http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=310926

Mears, Daniel P. & Travis, Jeremy. "The Dimensions, Pathways, and Consequences of Youth Reentry." January 31, 2004. http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=410927

NCHS. "Death Rates for… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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