Defining the Social Problem
Physical child abuse is the infliction of physical injury on a child through assault (Crosson-Tower, 2014). The physical injury is usually intentional and inflicted during discipline by a caregiver. Physical injury may be due to shaking, burning, kicking, beating, punching, or any other action that will lead to a child feeling some form of pain (Hinds & Giardino, 2017). Physical abuse of children affects the whole society as it interferes with the healthy development of a child both physically and emotionally. Therefore, a child will grow into adulthood remembering what happened. Some of the children may emulate their caregiver’s actions into adulthood leading to a continuous cycle of abuse. Statistically, child protection services receive an average of 3.6 million referrals of child abuse cases and the United States currently holds one of the worst records in child physical abuse cases in developed nations. Out of the 3.6 million referral cases, an average of 6.6 million children are involved, and 3.2 million of these children are subject to an investigation report (McCauley & Epstein, 2001). Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): I would include information about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Physical abuse is a type of trauma that is proven to affect adults later in life. Check it out: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): Source needed Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): I don’t really understand these stats. Are you saying there are more children involved than reports filed? Maybe just use one clear statistic to make your point.
To stop child abuse, society needs to install values/virtues in people, spelling out clearly what is and is not appropriate. They used to be known as spiritual teachings, but all amount to the same: how to behave appropriately with each other. Also, it is important that the child has a place to speak out, that adults listen and pay attention: hence the training for those who work with children in safeguarding. When a child tells their parent that they are being abused, the parent must listen and take necessary action. Government must initiate and support services and policies that enhance children’s development, health and safety and we must advocate for policies and programs to help meet the basic needs of children and families. We must also promote research, training, and public education to strengthen protective factors that buffer risk factors for child abuse while also directly addressing those risk factors.Physical child abuse leads to trauma and some injuries that may take longer to heal. Due to the force and level of violence, the child may undergo medical treatment to heal the injuries. The most significant impact is the psychological effect of physical abuse to the child. Most children who undergo physical abuse develop psychological issues into adulthood. Among the things that lead to physical child abuse are as a result of the previous abuse subjected to child by the caregiver when he or she was young. Behavioral problems, physical disabilities, emotional disturbance, depression, alcohol, and drug abuse are consequences of physical abuse to the child (Jenny, 2011). The society must accommodate the physically abused child and help him or her to overcome it. Physical child abuse cases have a negative impact on the community since they lead to a continues cycle of abuse every time a child grows to become an adult and emulates the behavior of the caregiver which was experienced when he or she was young. Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): I wouldn’t include proposed solutions just yet. This section is focused on defining the problem of physical child abuse.
Childhood is a very tender age especially when they encounter any kind of abuse being it physical, mental or sexual abuse, it creates a lifelong impact on their mind and health throughout their lives. The worst is when the adults or other parental figures in our lives engaging in the abusive behavior. Any kid who ever has experienced such abuses may not even realize that they have been abused, they take it as reality they know growing up. No age group of children is safe from being a victim of child abuse or neglect, although girls are more often the victims of sexual abuse than boys (Hinds & Giardino, 2017). For all other types of abuse and neglect, statistics are about equal for boys and girls. Although children of all ages experience abuse and neglect, it is the youngest children that are the most vulnerable. Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): Again, I would stick to the outline Murphy provided us and only answer those questions. Use this section to talk about trends in physical abuse—are certain age groups, races, socioeconomic groups more/less likely to experience abuse? Use this section to create a picture of what physical abuse is and who is affected. You do a good job of explaining the consequences of the problem (trauma carries over into adult life), but I didn’t see anything about causal theories related to physical abuse. Substance abuse, mental illness—what factors explain why physical child abuse occurs? Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): I also didn’t see that you answered the question How have values and self-interest shaped the definition and documentation of the problem? Maybe talk about how child abuse wasn’t considered a social problem in previous decades. In the past, child abuse was just something that occurred in the home (I’m thinking about how parents talk about “back in my day..” kind of stuff). In other words, we didn’t define spanking, hitting, etc. as abuse until recently, right? Although abuse has existed for as long as people have been around, it wasn’t something discussed or recognized by the law until somewhat recently.
Background/Context of the Problem
Child abuse can be addressed using the policy approach. One policy that has been developed to address physical child abuse in the United States include the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 (CAPTA). CAPTA has been amended several times and represents the government’s commitment to protecting children from physical abuse (Klevens, Barnett, Florence, & Moore, 2015). It provides funding to key players in child welfare such as non-governmental organizations and public agencies for demonstration projects. Additionally, CAPTA focused its attention on the enhanced reporting and investigation of child abuse (Stahmer, Thorp Sutton, Fox, & Leslie, 2008). The second policy in the state of Mississippi is the Mississippi Law on Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation. This policy defines the various forms of child abuse and makes it mandatory to report child abuse under Section 43-21-353 of the Mississippi Code of 1972. The system places responsibility on different people such as physicians, nurses, social workers, family protection specialists, law enforcement officers, psychologists, or a child caregiver to report suspected child abuse immediately if they have a reasonable cause. The policy also outlines the reporting procedure and reports can be made via a toll-free 24-hour line throughout the state (Hinds & Giardino, 2017). Additionally, penalties for failure to report child abuse are enforced according to the Mississippi Code of 1972. Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): Take out or reword. I don’t understand this sentence. Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): Change to “is” Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): ? Maybe just leave it at “public agencies”.
The history of child protection services dated back to the 19th century when society began to have positive attitudes towards the role played by parents in childcare. Civic and religious leaders started contemplating on the alleviation of suffering for children who lived in abusive families (McGowan, 2017). Some organizations that were established to help child protection services included the New York Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC), created by Henry Bergh, and Children’s Aid Society (CAS) founded by Charles Loring. Both NYSPCC and CAS were acts of voluntary services to the community and motivated by a deep commitment to the religious, charitable works as well as compassion for the less fortunate in the society (Romanofsky & Chambers, 1998). Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): Change to “dates”
Historical approaches to physical child abuse have positively shaped the current policy on the protection and welfare of the children. The approaches criminalized the social problem. It became a criminal offense for parents, caregivers, and foster parents to physically abuse a minor. For instance, in early 1870 a child by the name of Mary Ellen’s underwent physical and emotional abuse by her foster parents, who were later arrested and convicted of assaulting and battering an 8-year-old orphan (Pecora, Whittaker, Barth, Maluccio, DePanfilis, & Plotnick, 2017). According to the 1962 Journal of the American Medical Association, symptoms of physical child abuse were identified as being medically diagnosable. Self-hatred, an inclination to punish or hurt oneself, as a result of guilt. The guilt is caused by the tendency, incestuous fathers have, to blame the victim. Because of these feelings of worthlessness, and self-hatred, some victims start inflicting wounds on themselves, by cutting their arms with scissors, knives, razorblades, or pieces of glass (Florence & Moore, 2015). Comment by Furnas, Sarah J (Elizabethtown): Mary Ellen McCormack was her name.. According to Wikipedia! Comment by Sarah Furnas: Change to “the” Comment by Sarah Furnas: This section doesn’t really make sense. Are you explaining symptoms of physical child abuse?
Additionally, the cultural setting at the time of enacting the policies depended on voluntary societies that began investigating complaints of child neglect, cruelty, abuse, and exploitation. Also, it trusted on the attention of the media and public concerns. Today, child protection services and policies are handled differently. The government and voluntary agencies receiving state funding provide child protection services. The current political and economic context on child protection services is entirely different from the previous approach since the organization depended entirely on their funds to provide child protection services (Stahmer, 2008). Comment by Sarah Furnas: Reword this section: Prior to the establishment of government-ran child protection agencies, reports of abuse were handled by voluntary groups. The media was also largely involved in covering reported cases of physical abuse. This differs greatly from today’s standards in which government agencies are required to investigate cases of abuse and rarely does the media get involved.
Furthermore, the Progressive Era Reformers had a broader set of interests on the children and helped shape the early child protection services. The goal was to protect the children from harm by the caregivers as well as removing the child from undesirable society (McGowan, 2017). Therefore, the laws restricting child labor demonstrated and enhanced changing expectations regarding society’s responsibility for the well-being of the child. The historical approaches relied on the voluntary efforts while the current approach depends on the government interventions aimed at providing the needed funding, identification of child maltreatment, preserving the integrity of the family as well as finding a permanent home for children who cannot live with their families safely. Comment by Sarah Furnas: Reword: the reformers of the Progressive Era Comment by Sarah Furnas: Interests in children? Comment by Sarah Furnas: Change to situations or environments Comment by Sarah Furnas: Reword: Child labor laws, which also emerged during this time, demonstrated and…..
There is no reason to believe that historical approaches to physical child abuse would work better today. Despite child protection undergoing various transformations in the past years, understanding of physical child abuse has completely changed. It does include not only economic exploitation, cruelty, and neglect but also sexual as well as physical violence. Child protection services today has a good but often painful experience of the law and welfare. The current policies require welfare workers dealing with children to be people of high integrity, wisdom, patience, vision, the capability to perform assigned tasks, and the ability to abide by the statutory framework. Similarly, welfare workers should demonstrate love for the children as well as for justice. Comment by Sarah Furnas: Reword this paragraph. Recognize that while historical approaches were good in that they drew attention to an issue previously ignored by society, today’s understanding of physical abuse is much broader and encompassing of various forms of abuse. Additionally, the current understanding of child physical abuse also recognizes the implications of abuse, such as emotional trauma that continues into a victim’s adult life. Current approaches have also yielded requirements for those who work with victims of abuse.
Finally, the definition of the social problem has changed from merely describing the physical injuries inflicted on the victim to include social, psychological and emotional abuse that a child might be experiencing. They have changed over time indicating difficulty in finding clarity on plans to the social welfare of the children. In the US, child welfare services emerged out of public concern for child protection. The need to allow parents to raise their children as well as the growing urge to adopting out-of-home care instead of institutions made it a necessity. However, the government has been progressively involved in providing financial support for child welfare services and complying with the evolving US child welfare policy. Comment by Sarah Furnas: This phrase feels like it’s getting away from the main topic (physical abuse). Maybe say: The definition of physical child abuse has expanded over time. While it was first explained as merely the physical injuries inflicted on the victim, the current definition recognizes physical abuse as just one of several types of traumas children may experience.
The CAPTA was signed into law in 1974 by President Richard Nixon. The enactment of the policy was a reaction to different states’ views about child abuse. The goal of the policy was to address the problem of child maltreatment. The objective of the CAPTA were to provide funding for the identification, prevention, and treatment for children who suffered from abuse and neglect. The role of the CAPTA was to provide Federal funds to the state in order to support activities aimed at preventing and handling child. There are two Federal grant programs that support the fight against child maltreatment: demonstration grants and basic grants. The policy plays an essential role in authorizing government research on issues concerning child treatment and maltreatment of the victims. This paper examines the goals of the policy, the benefits, the expected outcomes and eligibility of the policy. Also, the paper will highlight the funding and service delivery system of the policy. Comment by Sarah Furnas: Change to “was” Comment by Sarah Furnas: Take out “the” Comment by Sarah Furnas: Lowercase f; federal doesn’t need to be capitalized Comment by Sarah Furnas: Abuse? Comment by Sarah Furnas: Take this out. Since it’s like six pages into the paper, there’s no need to say what you’re doing.
This policy is strength based and acknowledges each child and family’s unique set of strengths and challenges, and engages the family as a partner in developing and implementing the service plan. Formal and informal services and supports are used to create service plans based on specific needs and strengths, rather than fitting families into pre-existing service plans. An individualized, strengths-based assessment focuses on the complex interplay of risks and strengths among individual family members, the family as a unit, and the broader neighborhood and environment. The individualized, strengths-based approach is an overall philosophical view supported by policies and standards that encompasses a range of concrete practices of child welfare caseworkers and other service providers at various points from the time the child and family enter the system to when they leave. Comment by Sarah Furnas: Take this out