Hello. I am an English 102 student and I would like to receive feedback on my research paper. Thank you.
Rio Salado Community College
21 September 2018
Child Abuse and the Need for Social Change - Draft
Child abuse is a serious problem that needs to be address in the United States. In 2007, 1.86 million families were investigated for child abuse and 720,000 children were determined to have suffered abuse by a parent (Paxon & Haskins, 2009, p. 3). Notably, more than 1,500 children died due to child abuse (Paxon & Haskins, 2009, p. 3). Child abuse entails physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect. The first, physical abuse takes place when pain is inflicted upon a child whether it was intentional or not (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d., p. 3). The second, sexual abuse happens when a child is involved in a sexual act that would also include pornography or prostitution (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d., p. 3). The third, emotional abuse is described as an action that could cause behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d., p. 3). The fourth, child neglect is failing to meet the child's basic needs in the area of physical, emotional, and education (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d., p. 3). Consequently, abusing a child can result in Child Protective Services (CPS) intervention and possibly removing the child from the home. Evidenced based interventions are needed because too many children are abused and because parents would services would help teach parents how to work towards being substance and to address mental health illnesses.
Behavioral research indicates that abused children experience developmental difficulties and attachment issues (Kim & Cicchetti, 2004, p. 342). Home visiting programs are focused on helping parents learn new skills to prevent abuse on their child and to develop positive interactions (Lundahl, Nimer, & Parsons, 2006, p. 251). Home visiting programs are available to parents and caregivers who are experiencing a difficult time providing parental care for their child. Parent training referrals can come from schools, community agencies, pediatricians, and other providers who sense that a parent is at risk for abusing their child. In efforts to prevent child abuse, parents will benefit from receiving intervention services such as, home visiting, mental health, and substance abuse treatment. Another essential service that has been provided by benchmark programs is substance abuse treatment. Healthy Families utilizes implemented a home visiting service to help families in need of parenting assistance.
Home visiting is a highly recommended service that has been successful in preventing child abuse (Mitchell-Herzfeld, Izzo, Greene, Lee, & Lowenfels, 2005, p. 3). It was found that home visitations have been a successful intervention and have helped parents develop a stronger bond and to learn more about their child's needs (J. Constantino, et al., 2001, p. 1577). In examining the data between families who participated in home visiting programs, there was a 38.9% overall reduction of child abuse incidents (Hahn, Mercy, Bilukha, & Briss, 2005, p. 216). In order to help prevent child abuse, United Families has implemented a home visiting service for parents who are at risk for abusing their child.
The home visiting program would be modeled after the Healthy Families America module that has been implemented in 39 states (Healthy Families America, 2002; Duggan, et al., 2007, p. 802). The Healthy Family America program has been effective in helping reduce the rates of child abuse in the United States (Duggan, et al., 2007, p. 802; Barth, 2009, p. 106). United Families is an in-home intervention that works closely with parents to help promote healthy family interactions (Leventhal, 2001, p. 431). By engaging parents in different parent-child scenarios, parents will learn appropriate ways to respond (Shannon, 2003, p. 2). United Families home visiting team consists of a case manager and a parent aide.
Home visits are made three times per week for the first month and if there are no safety barriers, once per week (Magura, & Laudet, 1996, p. 208). During the weekly visits, the team assists the family with community resources, such as transportation, food, clothing, educational and vocational training, and health care referrals (Barth, 2009, p. 106). The purpose of the parent aide and case manager team is to develop a strong relationship with parents and to also serve as mentors (Barth, 2009, p.106). In home visitations staff is in the home several times per week. In home visitors are available to provide support to parents in crises (Duggan, et al., 2007, p. 802).
Parenting a child can be a difficult task, especially if a parent is suffering from an untreated mental health diagnosis. As a result, negative emotions such as frustration, anger and stress can increase the likelihood of abuse (Lundahl, et al., 2006, p. 259). Mental health treatment has been the most effective intervention in reducing child abuse (Nicholson, et al., 2007, p. 404; Solomon & Asberg, 2012). A majority of the mental health programs addressing child abuse prevention primarily deal with individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and related disorders, bipolar disorder, and personality disorder (Nicholson, Hinden, Biebel, Henry, & Katz-Leavy, 2007, p. 404). Depression and anxiety have had the highest correlation of abuse (Solomon, Morgan, Asberg, & McCord, 2014, p. 156).
Nicholson, et al., (2007, p. 396) found that parents with mental illnesses tend to do better with various treatment approaches rather than utilizing one approach. The parent mental health programs that have been researched examine either mothers only or mother and fathers (Nicholson, et al., 2007, p. 404). Clients engaged in the program are provided a mental health case manager who can help with securing recommended service. It is common that community mental health agencies provide the following services: (1) emotional support and problem solving; (2) referral and access to, and coordination of multiple services; and (3) crisis management (Nicholson, et al., 2007, p. 407). Families will have access to a crisis line that can be utilized twenty-four hours a day. Mental health program consists of psychotherapy that helps parents reduce stress (Solomon, et al., 2014, p. 154). All parents will complete mental health intakes to determine if they are in need of psychotropic medications and to determine counseling needs.
Counseling is effective in helping parents deal with internal issues that can help reduce stress (Solomon, et al., 2014, p. 154). Parents who become involved with CPS may be suffering from an underlying condition such as mental health or substance abuse. Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse are common among parents involved with CPS (Stromwall, et al., 2008, p. 105). Benchmark program offer a substance abuse component that works towards helping parents develop or maintain sobriety.
Parenting a child requires that a parent be alert and responsive to the needs of the child. Children of parents who use drugs are at a greater risk for being involved with CPS (Paxon & Haskins, 2009, p 8). In particular, prenatal exposure to alcohol can result in a child suffering from "heart defects, hearing and vision problems, facial deformities, small head circumference, decreased height and weight, and increased risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, and infant mortality" (Dore, Doris, & Wright, 1995, p. 533).
Florida implemented a Perinatal-20 outpatient program for high risk infants and their parents (Magura, & Laudet, 1996, p. 206). The program targets women who are at high risk for abusing their children due to alcohol or drug addictions (Magura, & Laudet, 1996, p. 206). To be successful, it is important that interventions begin early (Magura, & Laudet, 1996, p. 206). Perinatal-20 also provides case management, individual counseling, and group counseling (Magura, & Laudet, 1996, p. 207). In the event that a parent needs in-patient treatment, it has been found that a written agreement between the parent and child welfare agency can be helpful (Dore, Doris, & Wright, 1995, p. 539).
Project Together is another successful substance abuse program works with parents to improve sobriety, parenting skills, and help to manage stress. 90% of parents in the program were successful and reported improved sobriety, parenting skills and were less stressed (Magura, & Laudet, 1996, p. 207). Upon successful completion of substance abuse treatment, it is also recommended that a parent engage in 12-step meetings to ensure sobriety because addiction does not end after completing treatment (Dore, et al., 1995, p. 540). It is essential that the parents secure a sponsor and a positive support system to continue to help stabilize parents, so that they can engage in healthy parenting practices.
Parent training programs have been found to be successful in reducing child abuse when they address parenting skills through home visits, mental health, and substance abuse services (Lundahl, et al., 2006, p. 258). There are some excellent programs that have been modeled after other nationwide programs. Ultimately, it is our responsibility as a society to take the necessary steps to ensure all children are raised in a safe, loving, and abuse free home.
It is evident according to the statistics that child abuse is a national problem that requires preventative measures. It is estimated that the lifetime economic burden of child abuse is $124 billion annually, when factoring in criminal proceedings and the justice system (Fang, Brown, Florence, & Mercy, 2012, p. 163). Furthermore, abused children may suffer physically, psychologically, or behaviorally (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2013, p. 7). Parents who become involved with CPS may be suffering from an underlying condition such as mental health or substance abuse. Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse are common among parents involved with CPS (Stromwall, et al., 2008, p. 105). Many community based providers will need to be educated on all of the available that are available. It is also vital that the schools, child welfare agencies, lawyers, judges, and primary care physicians (Nicholson, et al., 2007, p. 409).
Barth, R.P. (2009). Can parent training prevent abuse, enhance development, and save money?
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). Long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). Emerging practices in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau.
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Duggan, A., Caldera, D., Rodriguez, K., Burrell, L., Rohde, C., & Crowne, S. S. (2007). Impact of a statewide home visiting program to prevent child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect
Fang, X., Brown, D. S., Florence, C. S., & Mercy, J. A. (2012). The economic burden of child maltreatment in the united states and implications for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect
Hahn, A., Mercy, J., Bilukha, O., & Briss, P. (2005). Assessing home visiting programs to prevent child abuse: Taking silver and bronze along with gold. Child Abuse & Neglect
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Mitchell-Herzfeld, S., Izzo, C., Greene, R., Lee, E., & Lowenfels, A. (2005, February). Evaluation of Healthy Families New York (HFNY): First year program impacts. Report to the Governor and Legislature.
Nicholson, J., Hinden, B. R., Biebel, K., Henry, A. D., & Katz-Leavy, J. (2007). A qualitative study of programs for parents with serious mental illness and their children: Building practice-based evidence. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research
Paxon, C. & Haskins, R. (2009). Introducing the issue. In Preventing child maltreatment
Shannon, L. C. (2003). Best Practices for Parent Education: Programs Seeking to Prevent Child Abuse. Extension Associate: Children, Youth, and Families. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service
Solomon, D., & Asberg, K. (2012). Effectiveness of child protective services interventions as indicated by rates of recidivism. Children and Youth Services Review
Solomon, D., Morgan, B., Asberg, K., & McCord, D. (2014). Treatment implications based on measures of child abuse potential and parent mental health: Are we missing an intervention opportunity? Children and Youth Services Review
Stromwall, L. K., Larson, N. C., Nieri, T., Holley, L. C., Topping, D., Castillo, J., & Ashford, J. B. (2008). Parents with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse conditions involved in child protection services: Clinical profile and treatment needs. Child Welfare
Writing areas of improvement and weaknesses:
I feel that my writing has improved a lot over the past few years. I have had to write a lot of reports for work that have been sent to attorneys and judges. I have always relied on having another co-worker who is a good writer check my report for any erros and to make sure it flows well. The feedback that I have received and been helpful.
I feel that improving my transitional sentences and paraphrasing can improve. I have always used APA formatting in the past and this is my first time using MLA. I could spend more time learning about the rules to make sure I am following the guidelines. I also feel that if I read more journal articles from various areas that will help improve my writing.