This paper explores child abuse and neglect in the rural areas and the importance of social workers in helping children. Child abuse is one of the problems that the modern society has faced with. Social workers support thousands of children and their families every year. Social work is related to psychology and involves relationship not only with the client but also with his or her family, friends, and community. Development of sustainable and harmonious society is the mission of the social organizations.
Keywords: child abuse and neglect, social work
According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting System, there were near 3 million cases of child abuse in 1999 and about 826,000 victims (Dake, 2003).Everyone should be acquainted with such information, because one day you can intervene is somebody’s life and and make a huge difference there. Child maltreatment can occur in any family. It does not depend on ethnic, cultural or religious convictions.
Child Protective Services (CPS) reported that in 1999 58.4% of children suffered from neglect, 21.3% from physical abuse, 11.3% from sexual abuse, and 35.9% reported about other forms of maltreatment (Dake, 2003).
Nowadays, people want to receive an education in the sphere of social work because they look for career to be useful foremost for society. Those people are eager to cotribute to society by helping others to find the solutions to their problems.
A Review of the Literature
To research the topic of the paper there are the following questions to consider:
- Child abuse and neglect in rural areas
- The importance of social work
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The aim of research was to complete and describe the problem of child abuse and neglect. The interviews with professionals, who worked with delinquent children and adolescents in a rural county in Indiana were used (Dake, 2003). Another source of research was made by the Department of Health “Family support plans for neglect and emotionally maltreated children.”
Child abuse and neglect in rural areas
Talking about the rural areas, it is worth mentioning that the largest percentage of children are suffering from ODD symptoms, according to the research that was made in rural country in Indiana by the professionals who worked with delinquent children (Beymer, 2002).
It was determined that childhood problems are divided in two types: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD). The main symptoms of the ODD are “negativistic, defiant, disobedient, and hostile behavior toward authority figures” (Beymer, 2002). ODD is a common problem in a child’s life.
Child maaltreatment includes physical and psychological traumas that have deleterious effects on the rest of child’s life. Low self-esteem, depression, suicide, antisocial behavior, delinquency and violence are the consequences of child abuse. Many children have problems with alcohol, drugs and law. Moreover, most of them have been physically or sexually abused.
The importance of social work
When there are child abuses and neglect situations in any family, social workers should intervene in it.82 (12%) referrals reported about possible neglect that included: “14 concerns about child safety, 10 concerns about possible physical abuse,7 concerns about possible emotional abuse, 3 other child protection concerns, 7 requests for a service, 10 referrals for other reasons” (Child Abuse Review, 1997)
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The social workers are the ones who possess necessary skills to help families. They are organizing and sustaining different programs to prevent child abuse and neglect. They create education programs, parent support groups. They also learn the signs of child abuse and report about suspect of child’s abuse in some families.
Social worker should work with the whole family, friends and mates and pay close attention on other environmental factors. The aim of social worker is to identify and address some challenges that the children may encounter. Today, there are many organizations which protect the rights of children.