Pelton, L.H. (2008). Child abuse and neglect: The myth of classlessness. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 48, 608-617.
Wolock, L, & Horowitz, B. (October 1984). Child maltreatment as a social problem: The neglect of neglect. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 54, 530-543.
While both formal and informal services at the sites are geared to preventing child abuse and neglect, program case managers sometimes find that they need to take stronger, more drastic measures to ensure a child's safety and well-being. Case managers in a number of the programs call on child protective services workers for informal consultation and help when they are worried about a family, and several said that they had made child protective referrals (hotlined a family) at least once (Pelton, 2008. Pg 611). The informal consultation appears to go both ways: Child protective services workers in several locations reportedly ask the site case managers to keep an eye on families which they worry about but cannot serve themselves, given their caseload of even more urgent crises.
The worker must be able to cross professional boundaries to meet a wide variety of family needs. In order to serve the child, he or she must also develop a relationship with the whole family, since the child's well-being is often intimately bound up with the well-being of other family members. No agency attempting to move in a two-generational direction should expect the change to be easy (Wolock, 1984. Pg 530). Many of the obstacles experienced by welfare agencies apply just as forcefully to the other large service systems for poor children and families. For example, difficulties of mission plague both schools and child welfare agencies that consider reaching out to parents, just as they hamper welfare agencies that consider reaching out to children. In the school setting, teachers, administrators, and elected overseers may worry that a mission of academic excellence will be compromised by too much attention to the multiple needs that children and their families bring into the classroom. For child welfare agencies, the conflict is even starker: In an agency whose mission is to protect children, many of whom are in urgent danger, how can it be legitimate to pay comparable attention to their parents? Similarly, each system suffers isolation from other service deliverers and lack of expertise in the multiple problems of families. Each experiences its own set of demands on workers and on the organization as a whole, demands that must be balanced against the needs of families in any successful solution.