In addition, they tend to be more prone to special education placement (Altshuler 2003). The researcher concluded that Public schools and child welfare agencies must begin to work together to support students' educational functioning. Professionals in both systems appear eager to work together more collaboratively, but need to resolve the historical mistrust. Schools of social work can help by teaching their students ways to break down the chasms that separate the various professionals. Administrators in both child welfare and education can help by creating systemic change through a commitment to joint planning and goal setting. Individual workers in both systems can help by committing themselves to working collaboratively and overcoming the mistrust that keeps them apart (Altshuler 2003).
Recent History: When Children Are removed from their Homes
It is evident that those working in the protective services must have a strong desire to do their jobs. Throughout the history of the organization, the protective service workers (social workers) have been paid very poorly and are expected to carry a large amount of responsibility on their soldiers. In the recent history of child protective services, these responsibilities have increased with the growth of the foster care system. The foster care system is an aspect of child protective services that was designed to care for children that were found to be abused or neglected by their parents or guardians. However, the history of this aspect of the child protective services is full of tragedies that could have been avoided. According to Bass et al. (2004) "Every year, millions of children are abused or neglected -- close to 300,000 so egregiously that they are removed from their homes by the state and placed in foster care. For too many of these children, foster care is no safe haven. Instead, the children drift from foster home to foster home, lingering in care while awaiting a permanent, "forever family (Bass et al. 2004)."
Bass et al. (2004) explain that many of the children in foster care are also abused and neglected by their foster parents. Cases of this have been prominent in the news in recent years. One of the most recent cases that occurred involved a nineteen-year-old boy and his brothers who were found eating the insulation of the house they lived in because they were being starved by there foster -- turned adoptive parents (Bass et al. 2004). There have also been other cases throughout the country that have brought into question the ability of the system to keep children safe.
The problems with this aspect of protective services have to do with the enormous amount of children in the system. According to Bass et al. (2004), 800,000 children were in foster care at some time during 2001. Compare this to 1980 when only 300,000 children were in the foster care system (Bass et al. 2004). The article explains that these increases are derivative of larger social problems such as poverty, children born addicted to crack, and children born with HIV / AIDS or being orphaned by AIDS (Bass et al. 2004).
In addition, child protective services are composed of a labyrinth of various organizations that handle different aspects of child welfare (Bass et al. 2004). It is also worth noting that child protective services differ from state to state (Bass et al. 2004). Not having a universal organization is difficult, particularly if there are relatives in another state that are willing to care for a child (Bass et al. 2004). All of these combined factors can prove detrimental for children who have been abused or neglected.
Indeed what began in the twentieth century as a way to protect children for abuse and neglect has become nearly as harmful for some as the environments from which they were removed. Bass et al. (2004) assert that Today, children and families who enter the foster care system continue to wrestle with these complex and interrelated problems. Additionally, the population of children in the system has shifted. Children of color compose the majority of children in foster care, with disproportionate representation of African-American and American-Indian children. The changes in the severity of the needs of children in the system and in the diversity of populations that are represented, tax the system to provide appropriate services, delivered by trained workers, and in foster care homes that are tailored to children's individual needs (Bass et al. 2004).
There are no easy answers for the problems that ail child protective services. As long as people continue to abuse and neglect their children their will be a need for the organization. However, it is apparent that some reform must take place if the organization is to serve as a true haven for abused children. Such reform will take time and require a great deal of resources.
For the purposes of this discussion, we investigated the history of the child protective services. The investigation revealed the child protective services came about in response to other movements including suffrage and women's rights. In addition, the research revealed that child abuse became a real issue with the abuse of a little girl in New York City. The community in which the girl lived had to rally to get her removed from an abusive environment. In the years that followed, organizations designed to protect children grew substantial in number. Finally in the 1930's the government took action to protect the nation's children with the Social Security Act and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. The research suggests that in later years, the government passed a law requiring teachers and other professionals involved in the care of children to report suspected abuses.
The research also examined the history of the relationship between Child Protective Services and the public school system. The investigation indicates that the relationship between child protective services and school officials has historically been volatile, although both agencies have a great deal in common. We also found that schools and social workers must work together to improve the educational environment for students in foster care.
Finally, we explored the recent history of Child Protective Services as it relates to the foster care system. We found that the foster care system is overwhelmed and was ill prepared for the impact of social problems such as HIV / AIDS and Cocaine addiction, on children.
Altshuler, S.J. (2003). From Barriers to Successful Collaboration: Public Schools and Child Welfare Working Together. Social Work, 48(1), 52+. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002650955
Bass, S., Shields, M.K., & Behrman, R.E. (2004). Children, Families, and Foster Care: Analysis and Recommendations. The Future of Children, 14(1), 4+. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000231619
Bridgeland, W.M., & Duane, E.A. (1993). Child-Abuse Intervention: The Accused, the Schools and Protective Services. Education, 114(1), 113+. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102653511
Brittain, C. & Hunt, D.E. (Eds.). (2004). Helping in Child Protective Services: A Competency-Based Casework Handbook / . New York: Oxford University Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102653511
Mcdaniel, N., & Lescher, N.C. (2004). 2 the History of Child Protective Services. In Helping in Child Protective Services: A Competency-Based Casework Handbook /, Brittain, C. & Hunt, D.E. (Eds.) (pp. 31-46). New York:…