2020-05-05 10:08

Family, Youth, and Children

The social work field of service of this research paper covers a chain of interconnected themes connected with family, youth, and children. From the perspective of social welfare, research carried out about families, youth, and children is very diverse. It introduces analyzed social groups as integral parts of the society, within which these parts should function normally and adequately. A social worker is a person who can reassure normal family functioning within the society.

The current field is interesting, because nowadays a family is one of the most significant social systems. From century to century, a family was considered a safe protective heaven where its members could receive nurturing, love and support. However, in the changing world as it known today, families tend to face obstacles and difficulties. Children and youth, who are the constituents of families, suffer from parental difficulties and misunderstandings as well. Unhealthy environments, inability to cope with social pressures, and weak knowledge of possibilities and opportunities affect both parents and children in the goal of meeting their needs. Therefore, a family's well-being is under threat in most cases.In order to prevent family crises and child growing in an unhealthy environment,

According to the essay professors research, a family is subordinated to the broader environment of social difficulties and needs solid support. Here, an African saying states, "It takes a village to raise a child". This saying is true, especiall considering current world principles. The authors of the book claim that from the 1950s up to the 1970s a typical American family consisted of a father, a mother, and two or more children. At present, less than 70% of American children live with two parents, 23% of them live only with a single parent (a mother), only 4% stay with their fathers, and the last 4% of children live without any parental care .What is more, grandparents, due to parental unwillingness or refusal to bring their children up and take care of them, are the ones who raise 2.5 million children in the United States.

The standards of a family and family life have been lost long ago due to the appearance of addiction of any kind. Among the research on the specific field and problematic family addictions, one can find journals based on the devastating life of families. There are journals which present a scholarly research on an alcohol addicted family members - one of the crucial problems the families face these days. Alcoholism is known to be one of the major problems facing families and child upbringing.For instance, the article by Yau et al., "Nucleus Accumbens Response to Incentive Stimuli Anticipation in Children of Alcoholics: Relationships with Precursive Behavioral Risk and Lifetime Alcohol Use" states that children of alcoholics belong to the risk category and might develop future alcohol and substance use disorders. The level of risk here is higher as the estimated rate of heritability is approximately 50%. Indeed, children of alcoholics have higher levels of drinking and drug use, and it becomes a great social problem. Such families with an alcoholic member become an opposite definition of a family standard. This literary source examines mostly the desire of alcohol among children, whose parents became addicted. Notwithstanding the threat alcoholics pose today to their families, there are other dysfunctional behaviors present. whose parents became addicted. Notwithstanding the threat alcoholics pose today to their families, there are other dysfunctional behaviors present. whose parents became addicted. Notwithstanding the threat alcoholics pose today to their families, there are other dysfunctional behaviors present.

One more problem that occurs in families is child maltreatment or child abuse. The article by Richard Gelles and Staci Perlman, "Estimated Annual Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect," speaks about this very issue. The authors state that 1.25 million of American children experienced maltreatment in 2005-2006. Gelles and Perlman believe that children who were abused are at high risk for a cost of adverse short-and long-term outcomes, including chronic health problems, mental health issues, developmental delays, poor educational well-being, and future involvement with the criminal justice system. What is more, the authors define several ways of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual; and two ways of neglect: emotional and educational. The researchers claim that every abuse or neglect has direct or indirect costs to the American society. According to their calculations, in 2012, the maltreatment of children within families had to be covered by $ 80,260,411,087. Presumably, half of these costs were given to social workers. This literary source shows data and numbers dedicated to the cost of child abuse and neglect. It does not speak of abuse and neglect directly, only through one aspect, which is economical.

Besides alcoholism and child abuse, which are costly to the society, there are inner motives that lead towards these chronic conditions in families. The article by Sheidow, "The Role of Stress Exposure and Family Functioning in Internalizing Outcomes of Urban Families," sees that the family functioning includes stressful situations and development of internalizing problems. According to the authors, urban families (especially poor ones) are exposed to diverse stressors on the daily basis. Among the stressors, one may find criminal victimization, violence in the community, little access to medical care, hardship on economic levels, and limitations in education and work opportunities. Youth, be it young parents or adolescent children, expresses problems from all the fronts and becomes depressed or even suicidal. THUS, interventions and special social care should aim at reducing the risk of health disorders in young caregivers and their children. According to the research, exposure to a variety of different types of stressors is associated with the development of mood and anxiety disorders in youth. Multiple investigations dedicated to the case have shown that children and youth who witnessed or were the victims of violence became subjects to a very high-risk category of internalizing problems. Moreover, domestic violence and child physical and sexual abuse are the triggers of internalizing disorders, such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, divorce has also a negative effect on children and is reflected in their poor psychological adjustment to the world. nonetheless, not only children and adolescents are affected. The changes of physical, social, and behavioral character appear to influence the family unit as a whole, leading to distress and family conflicts. Sheidow et al. review stressful surroundings and parental reactions. The aspects it underlines are urbanization and internalization. However, the study is very informative and concerns stress exposure and family functioning, which makes it appropriate for the topic of the research.

To generalize, the problems of families, which are either too young to exist on their own or are severely affected by their surroundings (are unable to provide a healthy environment, do not know how to provide it and are emotionally unstable, become addicted to alcohol, drugs, or divorce), influence the children living in these families. Thus, the target population of the social worker is families or its members, especially children. A social worker can and should help families and children in need, and to achieve the maximum result, he / she has to refer to the professional knowledge.

The professional practice methods used by social workers in such cases are the generalist practice and interventions on macro and micro levels. Therefrom, a generalist practice is a process, which involves a more or less orderly sequence of progressive stages in engaging the client (or client system, such as family) in activities and actions that promote agreed-on goals. Interventions, in their turn, are the procedures to assist clients toward acceptable resolution of their problems and to address their unmet needs. On the macro level, interventions are designed and focused on communities and societies. On the micro level, social workers focus on individuals, families, and small groups. Hence, the role of the social worker is to help and guide a family member or the whole family towards a resolution.

Field of Service

The presenting problems of this field of service mentioned in the Literature Review include parental inability to raise children, parental alcohol and drug use, physical and sexual abuse of children, and multiple stressors which are a burden to families and, as a result, influence negatively their children. Due to the negative influence, children are raised in one parent families, families that care more about alcohol and drugs than their own children, families that beat and abuse children sexually, and families where parents leave their children for grandparent care. Therefore, the target population at risk involves families and children.

The target population under threat has its particular age, gender, and socioeconomic status, which are the key features of the family's dysfunctional life. What concerns adults, these may be people who are relatively young or average, of both sex, having poor or average income. As for the children, they are mostly children of school age, adolescents, both male and female, living in poor or average income families. Precisely speaking, the bigger number of family problems occurs in lower and medium classes of the population. What is more, these classes are vulnerable to social exposure. The more tension society poses on these classes, the bigger the impact on families and children is.

Social welfare system observes every family from two frameworks of social exposure: ecological and individual. The first framework, which is ecological, presupposes the conditions of family life based on its environmental settings. For example, the environment each family lives in includes neighborhood, relatives, school / work, and even religious preferences. All these constituents influence life and work of a single family. Thus, the problems families interact with on ecological level include

1. Unpleasant neighbors, who interfere in the affairs of others and make the life of the family unbearable;

2. Annoying relatives, who want to control the life of a family or relatives with criminal past;

3. Problems at school, which practically all children have;

4. Problems at work and an unhealthy competitive environment;

5. Religious preferences. There is a variety of religions in contemporary world, which dictate their own beliefs and rules. Differences in religious views may cause arguments and conflicts between people who are extremely religious.

Individual framework, in its turn, considers families from the perspective of their ability to adjust to the environment they live in. Problems occurring here are based on communication, pressure from all the sides, social disapproval, and other issues caused by envious and cruel human nature. Here, stronger characters intend to fight the obstacles and attend social workers, while the weaker ones crash under the bad circumstances, refusing to be helped. In addition to the circumstances, there are barriers which might slow down the process of fighting and an adult or a child will be stuck in the middle of the healing process.

Families and children might go through a series of service of social workers without any barriers. However, some barriers, which may occur in the field of social workers, is human inadequacy and unwillingness to accept any help on the outside, professional and ethical issues depending on the case.

Depending on the situation and the potential barriers, social workers face different ethical issues and value dilemmas. In the current field of service, these value dilemmas and ethical issues include:

1. Communication with clients (confidentiality of information; client's right to be self-determinant; professional boundaries; conflict of interests awareness);

2. Competence (avoiding fraud and dishonesty; distinguishing between personal and professional conduct; being professionally responsible);

3. Social commitment (promoting justice; promoting public welfare; reducing the barriers to political and social action).

Being a skilled professional, following all the ethical rules, keeping values, and reducing dilemmas and barriers also stimulates the anticipated income a social worker attains per year. This income for a social worker in serving families, youth, and children depends on the case, the hours of work, and the environment. The medium salary a social worker has annually is $ 44,000. If the social worker has more duties, hard cases, clients who require special help and does his / her work brilliantly and professionally, the wage may be significantly bigger. Nonetheless, most of the social workers work for results and commit themselves to research in this field, which they found interesting and helpful to the society.

Therefore, the current field of service is interesting due to ability to help others overcome their problematic life choices. As families, youth, and children are the three categories who are the most vulnerable to social tensions and world changes, they are in need for the intervention. It takes a lot for a social worker to get to the core of the problem and to make a family function as one whole, so that neither youth, nor children will be damaged physically and morally. Therefore, the aim of every social worker is to provide the best generalist practice possible and to achieve positive results. Thus, the deviation from standard meaning of a family and the horrible statistic data might become secondary and less problematic. If a social worker can keep the family together, save them from depression, harm, violence, and constant stress, he / she is a professional and should work in this field of service. In addition, family welfare is what a social worker has to ground his / her treatment. Healthy society begins with a health functioning of its single unit - the family.

To conclude, the aim of this research paper has been achieved. The current research has analyzed the topic of family, youth, and children from a perspective of a social worker. It has been found out that many families nowadays experience stress and pressure from the environment surrounding them, such as neighborhood, work, school, church, and relatives. What is more, this stress and pressure leads to family problems such as alcoholism, child abuse, and family malfunction. Due to constant stressors, families tend to become addicted to alcohol or drugs, beat their children, or even abuse them sexually. In better cases, parents leave bringing up of their children for grandparents or divorce, so that the child is raised in a one-parent family. Thus, both parents and children require help from a social worker. however, there might be barriers to certain situations. For instance, parents' ignorance or neglect towards their children, unwillingness to be helped, inability to overcome addiction, etc. deter the family from healthy functioning. Moreover, a social worker also has to be ethically correct and solve ethical dilemmas or barriers that arise in the process of treatment.

The personal interest in social work revealed that a social worker is the one who helps the society, and this help is directed towards social welfare. Due to this feature, the current field of service is appealing, especially for the ones whose calling presupposes help




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