The importance of the U. S. child welfare policies is that it allows the maltreatment of children and abuse to end. The U. S. child welfare policies are important because they lookout for the well-being of the child but also considering what assistance their families may need. Child welfare programs and policies support children, however, in many cases improve the dynamic between families.
For example, Child welfare programs such as the adoption assistance and child welfare act of 1980 is important because it looks for the best results for children by reducing the time children have in foster care, established family preservation as a major goal, and promoted family and support services. The focus of child protective service is to deliver services that are protective, non punitive, and geared toward parental rehabilitation.
However, if the children were to be removed permanently from their homes it is important to have policies such as the Independent Living Initiative, which “provides services to prepare adolescents in foster care for living in the community” (Jenson & Fraser, 2016, pg. 72). Child welfare policies is extremely important because it believes in the preservation of the family by realizing that risk factors such as poverty can impact how a parent cares for their children.
Programs such as TANF (Temporary assistance to needy families) is the largest income transfer program for poor families. Even though, it does not take people out of poverty it can lessen the stressor of life and help lessen the risk of of child mistreatment or abuse. It is crucial for child welfare policies to include the levels of impact caused by family, neighborhood and community. In the film, “Autumn’s Eyes”, Autumn at 3 years old experienced risk factors such as: extreme poverty, health problems, child neglect, child endangerment, and living in habitable environment.
Which support Jenson and Fraser (2016) opinion that “Households that are living near or below the poverty line tend to have few social supports and experience stress in child rearing, all of which can increase the risk of child maltreatment” (pg. 65). By having child welfare policies and programs it is understandable why Autumn was removed because she was left alone with her 12-vear-old aunt in a dark apartment with little to eat and no heat, while the grandmother was stressed in the hospital unable to leave due to medical reasons.
Autumn’s temporary stay in foster care supports Gary W. Evans opinion that poor children are more likely to stay in foster care for some time. Even though Autumn only stayed in foster care for a couple days, child welfare policies allowed her grandmother to prove that she is able to care for her granddaughter. The grandmother showed the ability to care for her grandchild by looking for a house and by never abusing or neglecting her. However, in the film, “Homeless: the motel kids of Orange County”, the children were not removed.
Even though they experience risk factors consisting of; poverty, witnessing violence, child neglect, child endangerment, drug availability, and lack of employment. The orange county parents may be at times neglectful but its due to their work ethic. Even though both film could end with children being taken away they provided several promotive and protective factors. five protective factors designed to balance and mitigate child abuse consist of; active extended family support, able to focus on positive attributes, self-sufficiency, parental employment, and a caring community.
In Autumn’s eyes, autumn’s grandmother demonstrates the use of active extended family by providing supervision for Autumn when she was hospitalized. In homeless kids of O. C, the Oezken family dealt with their mother working overnight shift at the hospital, while her husband who lost his job at target watched over their 4 children. Self sufficiency is demonstrated in both film when the children would cook and clean at an early age, which teaches them to be independent.
A caring Community is demonstrated in the Homeless kids of O. C. when the kids would get food and clothes donated to them from churches and that every week they were able to take a bag of food home. Employment is seen in both films when Autumn’s mother is released from prison she begins looking for work to take care of Autumn. In the homeless kids of O. C. , employment is also seen as protective factor because many of the families residing in the motel are the working poor. even though they may not have a place of their home the parents are willing to work in order to still care for their children and not deal with more stress.
Academic achievement is demonstrated in Autumn’s eyes when autumn is able to read cereal boxes at the age of 3. Ability to focus on positive attribute is demonstrated in the homeless kids of O. C. , when 8-year-old Jennifer still had hope and believed that god would not give you something you can’t handle. Promotive factors that mitigate or buffers mistreatment consist of; supportive relationship, parental support, access to services, self-efficacy, Good communication and positive attitude towards school. In Autumn’s Eyes’, Supportive relationship were seen when her grandmother took care of Autumn when her mother was imprisoned.
By having a supportive relationship, it mitigates mistreatment because at times single parents are in need of assistance especially when a father figure is not available, which is Autumn’s case. Parental support in shown in the homeless kids of O. C when Celine got bad grades and her father attempted to demonstrate empathy and telling her that he will assist her in studying. By providing parental support parents are decreasing the chance of being angry at a child they are more focused on the well-being of their children and are less-likely be focused on the negative things.
Access to services was demonstrated in Autumn’s eyes when her grandmother received section 8 and was interpreted I the documentary as a family who has exhausted programs such as; TANF, WIC, and SNAP. By having access to services it may reduce stress that derives from poverty or necessity, which can diminish the likelihood of taking it out on the child. Self efficacy is shown in Autumn’s eyes because Autumn at such a young age was given responsibilities and she never asked for help once because she believed she could clean and read all by herself.
Good communication is necessary to be able to understand the child. In autumn’s eyes, good communication was seen when Autumn’s grandmother though inappropriate talked to 3-yearold Autumn about sex. Positive attitude toward school was shown in Autumn’s eyes when her grandmother was determined to send Autumn to school and encourage her to read. Overall, child welfare policies and programs are important because they provide early intervention in either to remove the child or find ways to better the well-being of a child.
With the ability of many programs provided by child welfare services may include,” referring parents to job assistance or adult education and providing parents with assistance in obtaining housing and healthcare” (Jenson & Fraser, 2016, pg. 76). By providing families with policies they are allowing early intervention in order to mitigate risk and promote programs that can assist parents and improve the lives of maltreated children. Many of the intervention included with the child welfare permits families to obtain services to care for their children without removing them from the home.