Child Welfare or Juvenile Justice Essay Introduction
In the state of Florida, child safety and protection is a number one priority against abuse, negligence or abandonment. This is an issue that is very dear to the hearts of many of the residents. The community-based child welfare system has taken up the responsibility of the well-being and care of the youth of the state. Various researches carried out have shown that in Florida, over 22,000 children are placed under foster care with many as victims of abuse and negligence. Additionally, there is evidence that this number is constantly rising(Robinson & Calabro, 2015). For this reason, the Juvenile systems in Florida are in collaboration with the child welfare system because they acknowledge the fact that the children and their families come into the child welfare system with many needs and wants that demands or require attention from multiple systems (Children's Bereau, 2008).
According to Nash & Bilchik, (2009) the National Council of Juvenile and Family court judges’ landmark Delinquency Guidelines which was published in the year 2005 established a relationship that existed between the child welfare and Juvenile Justice. With this kind of relationship, the question of how the system reacts when a teenager crosses from one given system to the other arises. It is also questionable whether there is a coordination system of how they both can respond when the teenager or youth is involved concurrently with both of these systems. Do the courts or the jurisdiction involved communicate, co-ordinate or cooperate with the youth and their family? Thus, some example scenarios try to show how these systems have to interact. Nash and Bilchik (2009) suggested that if there is a collaboration between these two systems, some measures and guidelines can be observed. This is in the sense that, the Juvenile Justice System has to take the initiative to be well informed of the youth involvement in situations that may involve abuse and negligence when a wrong doing referral is made, and the same case applies to child welfare systems. Once it is well known of the involvement of the other system, an implementation of some mechanism should be carried out, to show the child’s involvement in the new dual connection. Besides, there should be a process that is conducted so as to help determine the youth’s needs, risks, and strengths. This gives room for the system to decide on how to allocate the necessary resources required for the child's benefit and that of the community (Thomas, 2015).
In situations where court cases are involved, it is crucial for the law, the courts, and those directly involved in the cases involving the youths; who have crossed over to the other system, to comprehend and have enough information regarding them. This may include the family history, any prior court history, and the dynamisms that exist between the juvenile justice and child welfare. The importance of having the knowledge of the youth involvement in the two systems helps to prevent several problems that include prolonged detention periods, duplication of efforts and any miscommunications that arise between the agencies involved (Siegel, 2005).
According to the above-outlined importance of focusing on the collaboration between juvenile justice and child welfare systems, below are my advisory opinions so as to ensure rehabilitation and improvement of the well-being of the child in the community. Firstly, I highly suggest that these systems should make sure that there is full participation of each and every one in the child’s welfare, there should be an introduction of mandate appearance of both the probation officers and social workers. Also, a collaborative team should be assembled with the intentions of implementing a service guideline that should be combined to meet and report to the court house. This collaboration team should comprise of representatives from probation offices, child welfare, the youth, guardians or parents. In the same vein, the participation of the probation officer and the child protection services social worker will be crucial since they are required to jointly make a draft memo that at least highlights issues related to the child.
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