Child Welfare and Family Preservation
An essential aspect of social work practice is the support and preservation of the family unit. Building and empowering strong, resilient families is a focus of social work practice within organizations and communities.
Social work research is an integral aspect of working with families. The research component of social work is essential to providing effective policies, programs, and services to support and empower families.
As a social worker, you need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills required for effectively working with families for child welfare. You also need to interpret and evaluate research findings involving family and child welfare.
For this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Consider the role of family preservation in child welfare, the research regarding family preservation, and the assumptions about foster care. Think about whether you agree with the research, and whether there are any gaps in your state foster care system that might contribute to the assumptions. Reflect on the benefits and shortfalls of permanency planning and family preservation and which approach you prefer.
By Day 4
Post an explanation of the role of family preservation in child welfare. Then, explain whether research supports the assumption that foster care is harmful for children, as presented by the cornerstone argument for family preservation. Be sure to include whether you agree with this assumption and why you agree or disagree. Subsequently, identify the gaps in your state foster care system that contribute to the idea that foster care is harmful to children. Then, compare the benefits and shortfalls of permanency planning and family preservation. Finally, provide a description of whether you prefer the permanency or the family preservation approach as a child welfare social worker and why you prefer it.
Support your post with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
By Day 6
Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.
Respond to at least two colleagues by offering an insight for the comparison of benefits and shortfalls of permanency planning and family preservation your colleagues described based on your state’s child welfare policies.
Kesha Caston RE: Discussion 2 – Week 7COLLAPSE
Family preservation is accessible to help parents in enhancing their child rearing and help the family in having the capacity to work all together for the children to be protected. According to Popple and Leighninger (2016), “… family preservation policy looks to help keep families together yet in addition tries to shield society from the unnecessary expenses of a heightening child care population” (p. 286). Removing children from their homes could leave an enduring negative effect on them, therefore the family preservation policy enables them to be safely taken care of with their parents getting the best possible support and services that could eventually change the lives of their children.
According to Biema (1994), “Foster care is intended to protect children from neglect and abuse at the hands of parents and other family members, yet all too often it becomes an equally cruel form of neglect and abuse by the state” (p.144). I agree that foster care is the state neglecting these children just as their parents had at home. Fortunately, for my state the judges and lawyers in our juvenile courts should know what DFCS’ comprehensive state plan for child welfare services. This plan is also known as the Child and Family Service Plan (CFSP), which ultimately provides for in the areas of child abuse and neglect prevention, family support, and family preservation. According to the Mississippi Child Protection Services website, the state of Mississippi, in an effort to preserve families, foster care is always the last resort unless removal is in the best interest of the children. Families are allowed to provide a safety plan with other family members to allow the children to maintain the connection. However, the individual must pass background checks and be approve by the youth court judge.
Permanency planning benefits are having the family engaged in the process along with the caseworkers visits. Shortfalls could potentially be when the family is not involved in the planning then there would not be much to plan for after the children leave out of home care. Benefits for family preservation are improving the parenting of the parents along with aiding the family in being about to function collectively as one. A shortfall could potentially be if the parents/family does not put in the work needs to strive which will lead to removal of the child/children. This could potentially lead to the parents rights being terminated ending all connections with the children. I think that family preservation would be in the best interest of families involved with child welfare because it at least gives the parents a chance to become better parents in order to provide a safe, stable, and conducive home setting for their children.
Tameka Sutton RE: Discussion 2 – Week 7COLLAPSE
In this week’s second discussion, we are to think about child welfare in conjunction with the family preservation policy. We are to define the position of family preservation in the child welfare domain. We are to research the accusations of family foster care being unsafe for the children who enter and supply a view of being for or against the prosecution about family foster care(s). We are to research and recognize our residential state system for foster care with distinguishing gaps within the organization that makes the accusation stand out as providing evidence of being unsafe. We are to associate the good and the bad of permanency planning and family preservation. We are to conclude with choosing a preference of policy for permanency planning or family preservation as a child welfare social worker and explain the choice.
Per Popple & Leighninger (2015) family preservation is the policy of sustaining the child within the home while receiving social work intervention. In researching the condition(s), the social work practitioner will then plan whether to remove the child (foster care admittance) or try to alleviate the situation while letting the child remain in the home (Popple & Leighninger, 2015). Family preservation allows the child to stay in a known place of residence and not to become a part of the foster care system. Family preservation policy has a set of goals that interpret family strength by trying to provide education of coping skills, and focusing on the underlying cause that brought the social work practitioner into the home. Family preservation is the champion of the rule when in a child welfare situation “suggests” the social worker practitioner will be able to practice evidence-based approaches in the presence of the child’s residential environment. This policy is designed for the social work practitioner to become a part of the family for up to six weeks, giving time for everyone involved to pause and reflect on family system values (Payne, 2015). The accusations against the safe environment of a foster care home are numerous and piling up to be abundant. Children are redirected from their home into the system of foster care with the policy that notes, “children are safe in this newly recognized environment,” but the accusations are suggesting the opposite. In North Carolina Health news, in 2016 there were 5,721 children in foster care or out-of-care homes with the number increasing daily. Every child situation is different, and some may have the same underlying reason to enter the out-of-care home. Ultimately, the children arrive with the idea of returning home. Knowing that there are so many children in these foster home’s “safety” is a recognizable topic because North Carolina is striving to adequately place the children, just as all states in the United States of America. Every state has aggressive numbers for children who are in out-of-care homes. There are so many underlying reasons for a child to enter the out-of-care home such as abandonment, coping, death of a parent (no family to step in), domestic violence, drug use, neglect, incarceration, child disability, and the list continues to expand (“NC’s Struggling Foster Care System,” 2017). So, in concurring with the NC’s Health News children are not safe in the foster care homes due to the overcapacities of residence.
Permanency planning is the development of a guided strategy from a team of professionals who are involved with the maintenance of the child’s care system. Permanency planning is preparing the child to enter into an out-of-home care environment preferably with a family member through evidence-based theories and the notion of common sense (Popple & Leighninger, 2015). The benefit of implementing a plan of permanency placement for the child is to place them in familiar surroundings “most cases.” The child will be going through trauma, and to develop a strategy for residential care in the home of a family member is a great plan. The downside to the grand scheme is placing the child in permanency placement with a family member who is no better than the birth parent(s). The benefit of family preservation is that the child stays with the birth parent(s) focusing on the child’s natural world. Another advantage to family preservation is that the social work practitioner can value, and assess the results of leaving the child in the home (Popple & Leighninger, 2015).
In researching the policies of family preservation, foster care (out-of-home care), and permanency placement, the value of family preservation outweighs the other child welfare policies. In reviewing all policy goals, family preservation problem solving targets family strength. Society can only become a civilized communion when families are as strong as the establishments in which govern them. Family preservation came into existence because the governing bodies saw a need to transform the state of child welfare intervention into a functioning source for the future of the society — the child (Popple & Leighninger, 2015). In keeping the child among their natural environment with guidance gives that child comfort to become.
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