Part 1 – Current Challenges in Our Child Welfare Policies
Read the case study in the text beginning on page 83 entitled “Children Who Are Not Headliners”. This is a very stark case study based on a real family. I found myself asking many questions such as, “Why were the children not removed from their family and placed into foster care?” I have worked with families similar to this one, and I remember that one of the realities is that often families who are in the child welfare ‘system’ have experienced generations of neglect, trauma and chaotic living.
Basically, our efforts must be multi-faceted so that we can help both parents and children when they are embedded in these kinds of troubles. To demonstrate your understanding of the application of this chapter’s concepts to the case, please answer the following questions.
- Based on what you have learned in this chapter about the current policy challenges in the child welfare system, what policy changes might make the system more useful to this family? (Hint: These policy challenges begin on page 76 of the chapter.) Be sure to tell WHY these policy changes might be effective.
- What is ONE way that risk could be reduced for this family?
- What is ONE way that protective factors could be enhanced for this family?
Part 2 – Effective Communication & Engagement in Child Welfare
Imagine that the family you just read about in the text experienced the unthinkable – some type of serious harm has come to one of their children while Child Welfare was still involved in the case.
The media is reporting on the case. How should the agency handle communication with the media and with the public? Answer the following questions using the article posted below to guide you.
- First, take a look at the “Confidentiality Laws” section on page 5 of the pdf (page 221 of the journal). Explain the difference between “presumptively open” and “presumptively closed” in dependency courts. There is a pretty even split in the states between those who have courts open to the media and those who are closed to the media.
- Which do you think acts in the best interests of children? Presumptively open? Or presumptively closed? Why?
- The article outlines six ways agencies can best manage a crisis situation. What are those six elements?
- What are two other ways (mentioned in the article) that agencies can be proactive in communicating with and educating the public?