Kid Central is one of the well-known agencies in Central Florida. It manages comprehensive, community-based care services for abandoned, abused, and neglected children in the city. The agency serves over five hundred clients monthly from the city and receives a few outside cases. They do not decline any case referred to them and has been vital in helping and contributing to the welfare of children. The organization's care system caters for children that suffer maltreatment that is ideal for than placing them under kin care. Most parental neglect cases handled by Kid Central often occur due to mental illness, substance abuse, or incarceration, which form the primary reasons for the parents not to stay with their children.
Kid Central applies several pathways in the kinship placement in which the parent has private arrangements with the relatives to care for the children. Additionally, the child may have an arrangement with the agency. Other ways into the agency's care include but not limited to death of the parents and military deployment. The latter mostly happens in times of crisis. The agency works closely with Child Protective Services or the CPS mostly to help the children in need. The kin or the people who give their children for care usually show signs of economic hardships or financial constraints. Notably, close to 40% of families that give their children for care live below the federal poverty line. The households headed by grandmothers are the worst hit since statistics 48% of such households live below the federal poverty line. Kinship families show higher propensity of being poor in comparison to non-relative foster care homes. The mentioned families, or the foster care families, also tend o experience higher levels economic hardship. Therefore, in terms of financial assistance, the agency offers greater financial assistance to cater for the need of the children found therein due to the limited levels of education and resources in their home or neighborhoods.
Principles and goals of the Case Management
I had the opportunity to interview the director of Kid Central who informed me of the structure, the functioning, the principles, and the strategies employed by the organization in its quest to deliver quality care for the children and their families. The main objective of the care center (Kid Central) is to foster children's healthy development, particularly for the ones that are ion significant risk of psychological, developmental harm and physical harm. According to the director, Kid Central is located in a neighborhood in which the children close to 60% described as highly or moderately supportive, while the remaining number live in neighborhoods that the manager considered either moderately (30%) or low (10%) in support. It is worth noting that the stated selection stemmed forms the self-selection based on economic conditions and the and the option available for the families and the children to seek help in foster homes or otherwise. The interview with the director also revealed that the neighbors a formidable bearing on the child and the family behavior and the outcomes even during the period of foster care.
According to the director, the principles and the measure applied by the Kid Central fraternity focus on formulation and subsequent the dissemination that target individual families and children. The early research by the agency aimed at identifying the families that were at high risks, especially the ones that suffered abuse form the parents, the guardians, or the ones that showed neglectful behaviors (Lee, Choi, Lee & Kramer, 2017). Once identified, the agency educates the parents will the knowledge through the skill-building opportunities, and any form of assistance to help them overcome any evident limitations. The above assertion by the manager means that the agency essentially employees the collaborative approach as its first principle. In the recent times, the agency shifted its approach to focus on the environment that fosters the parents' ability to comply with the set standards on how to treat children.
The agency understands perfectly the role of the environment in shaping up the parental care. Environmental forces have the propensity of overwhelming the best-meaning parents. To this end, the agency applies community-based strategies to assist children from various backgrounds. It means that the agency engages the school, home, and the community based resources in monitoring and assisting a child from complicated background. Application of such a principle is cost-effective, as it encompasses every aspect of the child's life meaning that it is comprehensive and has higher chances of success. The manager further explained that the objective of depending on such a strategy is to expand resources and services available within the community by initiating new services, fostering greater collaboration, and streamlining service delivery the processes of service delivery.
Other strategies mainly focus on the changing of the social norms that touch on personal interactions among the neighbors. In addition, other concentrate on establishing a functional relationship between the guardian or the parent with the child, and others aim at fostering collective and personal responsibility for the protection of the child. They include interagency collaboration in which the director posits that they involve family and child-serving agencies that range from private, public, faith based sectors such as the church and other entities like the mosque depending on the faith that the child subscribes to.
The director also mentioned that the agency applies individualized strength care that acknowledges families and child's unique challenges and strengths. To this end, the care plan seeks to maximize the strength while simultaneously eliminating the weaknesses. In terms of cultural competence, the organization has a set of principles and values, as well as behaviors, policies, structures, and attitudes that ensure that they deliver the services as required. Moreover, the director stated that the organization operates on the principle of partnership and mutual respect since the youths tens to be sensitive. Treating the youth and the parents with respect increases the probability of success for the program's success. Finally, the director emphasized the significance of accountability in running of the various programs. It is imperative to note that accountability in this context refers to continual assessment of financial, organizational, and practice outcomes to enhance the effective of the entire system in meeting the needs both the families and the children.
Components of the Case Management
As mentioned earlier, foster care usually experience trauma that definitely affect their psychological, neurobiological, and the social development. The only ways o mitigate the named challenges are kinship or foster care as the one offered by Kid Central. The care offered by Kid Central has various components that that form each intervention with the main objective being to benefit the children found therein. The components focus on the problems related to the child's behavior and rational functioning (Dennis & Liberman, 2004). During the interview, the director claimed that Kid Central engaged in effective interventions that has clearly defined aims, targeted developmental stages and domains, role-play or providing coaching. The overall objective of the components or the distinct components is to mitigate the problems of maltreatment and any form of relationship disruption.
The director stipulated that the agency applied various interventions that aim at improving the behavior problems that include but not limited to positive reinforcement components and consistent discipline, problem solving, trauma psycho education, and parent-child related components. The components aim at assisting the children to adapt to the life at the agency and break from the traumatizing life they were probably subjected to in their previous lives. The agency expects the children to maintain high levels of discipline not only during their stay within the premises, but even later in life when they are productive adults capable of nation building. The interventions that aimed at improving the parent-child relationship were mainly focused on developing sensitive, empathetic, and attuned parental responses to the needs of the child.
It is essential to target the mentioned needs because the prevalence of rational difficulties and the behavior problems is well documented not only at the agency but also throughout foster homes in the region and the nation at large. The director lamented the fact that most of the interventions mostly measure outcomes based on rational and behavioral terms only. To this regard, claimed that Kid Central's approach combined both the collaborative and coordinated components in the hope that such will provide proper understanding the relationship between the parent and the child, and help in the identification of any behavioral challenges. Effective combination of components into a single program as the agency does is beneficial in the development and evaluation of specific interventions.
Models of the Case Management
Kid Central applies various models of care that ensure the implementation of promising practices that enhance the well-being and the safety of children in housed under its care. The director asserts that the objective of the models is purely to strengthen the quality of the family care services and to help the agency to achieve better outcomes for the families and the children through the provision competency-based recruitment, selection, and the subsequent preparation of the parent. He further, delineated that the models aim at supporting the already initiated and ongoing programs to ensure continuity, sustainability, and suitability of the many programs undertaken. In other words, the models support the viability and sustainability of the entire system for quality care (Rubin et al., 2007). The director stated that the agency applies various care since the children and the families have varying needs that the organization has to meet.
The first model of care is the specialized foster care, which the director said that the agency is one of the leading providers of the care in the entire Florida region making the organization a bit advanced in comparison to other foster homes. Advanced foster care serves to meet the families and the children at the point of need by catering to the children and the families with specialized needs. An example is the therapeutic foster care services that the agency offers to children who have undergone profound physical or emotional abuse. The services include stabilization, assessment, and the initiation of the transition process. The director claimed that the model is ideal for children who need special care for example the ones who have had contact with drugs and other related substances, and the ones who have experience firsthand violence that probably led to dysfunctional families (Rubin et al., 2007). Additionally, the agency provides therapeutic family-based care services that include psychotherapy sessions that that at times involve the parents and the child. The sessions aim at establishing functional relationships between the parents and the children.
The second model applied by the organization is the Anglicare therapeutic fioster care, which mainly involves team approach to the problems faced by the child and the family. The team normally comprises people of diverse experience and qualification that handle the problem form varying angles in order to foster efficiency and effectiveness in the care giving. The director explained that in his years of experience, he came to realize that the...
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