Free Essay: Chid Abuse in Child Welfare Services - A Human or a System Error?

Published: 2022-04-11
Free Essay: Chid Abuse in Child Welfare Services - A Human or a System Error?
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Systems thinking Child abuse
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 575 words
5 min read

Child welfare services are meant to protect the most vulnerable members of society from the excesses of those expected to take care of them. Surprisingly, most cases of child abuse are committed by the individuals entrusted with their care. This can be their biological parents, blood relations, or foster guardians. I have always assumed that the child protection services body fully takes its responsibility in providing this crucial service to the children in the society. However, the reading of the attached articles has completely disillusioned me as far as the effectiveness of the current model is concerned. I have been surprised to learn that the system repeatedly fails in its mandate to protect these vulnerable demographic, often with fatal outcomes.

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Apparently, there have been several reported cases, whereby the child neglect and abuse resulted in the unfortunate demise of the victims, at the hands of their guardian. These instances have been followed up with passionate criticisms of the system, official inquiries, and promises from political leaders, who assure individuals of proper follow-up measures regarding the matter. More often than not, this process ends with the apportioning of blame to an individual employee of a welfare agency, who is said to have neglected his or her role in ensuring that the welfare of the deceased child was taken care of. If these problems are identified and plucked from the system, the number of reported cases of abuse ought to have drastically reduced. Thus, this further question the effectiveness of the policies put across by the group to address cases of child abuse.

It is clear that the current model of singling out individuals and resting all the blame on human error is clearly not working. Another surprising issue is the dwindling interest in such a noble profession. Therefore, it is not right to trim an already understaffed workforce, and further demotivate the remainder, by threatening them with the sack at the slightest error. The continued occurrence of these unfortunate but preventable incidents reflects a total failure of the whole system. Thus, the victimization of individual social workers will only work as a cosmetic solution that appeases the public's thirst for immediate justice, without actually addressing the root of the problem. Increased scrutiny and supervision of social workers, as well as the introduction of more procedures and protocols, may reduce the effectiveness of the process more than they assist the social workers in their jobs.

It should not be business as usual, especially when the status quo is not working. There is a need to transfer the engineering approach of evaluating systems to ensure that there are minimal repeats of such occurrences. Blaming every mishap on human error without questioning the organization contribution to that error is not going to fix the problem for good. The safety of a child is at the intersection of the social worker, the guardian, hospitals, and law enforcement officers. In some cases, multiple child agencies are involved. This provides several opportunities for the cogs in the system of child protection to notice any risk factors that arise and initiate appropriate measures to get the child out of harm. Therefore, the responsible parties ought not to wait until a tragedy strikes for them to act or respond. Otherwise, this implies multiple failures at various levels of management, which allow the abuse to go unnoticed. Thus, the only way to fix this is to address the system rather than the individual social workers.

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