Child welfare describes the actions taken to protect and promote a child’s wellbeing, supporting families, guaranteeing the emotional and physical welfare of a child, and addressing social settings that negatively impact a child. However, most people think of child welfare as the actions aimed at protecting a child from abandonment and abuse. With the passing of child abuse and neglect reporting laws, it led to child abuse becoming the dominant subject matter above other vital issues such as health disparities, poverty, and delinquency (Popple & Leighninger). It also affected the foster care system. Foster homes were once regarded as the best institutions for providing a nontoxic environment for abused and neglected children. However, they are not effective since they fail in providing the right placements for the kids.
The research results of Richard Engler and Henry Maas were presented in their book, “Children in Need of parents.” The study’s objectives were to survey the kind of care offered by individual communities to kids in foster care; to find out particular facts such as age, gender, number of years under supervision, number of replacement, age separated from guardians; and to establish a relationship between specific sociocultural characteristics of particular communities and type of care offered by them (Popple & Leighninger). The research had several effects on child welfare policy and practice. One of them involved the requirement of social work professionals’ involvement with child welfare. More so, the study contributed to the change in policy where permanent placement was now allowed in a child’s particular home, and placement in a foster home can be temporary.
Several principles are employed in the child rescue approach, permanency planning approach and family preservation approach. For permanency placement, the kid’s reunification with the family members is the primary goal. Where a reunion is not possible, adoption is the aim. For the family preservation approach, it moves parents from being inactive recipients of services in decision making to active participants (Popple & Leighninger). On the other hand, in the child rescue approach, child care personnel should be alerted when signs of physical, sexual and emotional abuse manifest.
Several outcomes have been witnessed as a result of long-term foster care. Several studies have indicated that kids in foster care tend to have a higher rate of behavioral problems, a contrast to children living in their homes. Children in foster homes are also more likely to receive psychiatric help and take psychotropic drugs than their peers (Popple & Leighninger). This knowledge translated into better policy formulations such as recommending that kids and teens in foster homes be screened for mental health disorders.
Family preservation appeals to both conservatives and liberals since foster homes have been considered unsafe because social workers are generally poorly trained and overworked. Family preservation programs incorporate the principle that family ties should be strengthened. Rather than breaking them, even though child abuse and neglect complaints have been raised, they try to keep the families together. Kids can suffer from relentless emotional trauma when separated from their parents since foster homes are severely overburdened (Popple & Leighninger). In addition, foster homes require vast sums of money to implement when compared to the family preservation approach. Thus, there are many reasons that make conservatives and liberals prefer family preservation programs.
The family preservation programs evaluation results revealed that children are necessarily safe when compared to foster homes. Results also indicate that out-of-home placement has increased due to the low-income family preservation approach (Popple & Leighninger). Therefore, these outcomes indicate that this program should not be expanded and should consequently be discontinued.
Failure to Protect: The Taking (and Murder) of Logan Marr
Several social factors explain Christy’s behavior. One of them includes the unhealthy relationship with her fiancée, who is a self-proclaimed drug user. To make matters work, he lived in the same apartment as Christie and Logan Marr. Another social factor is her toxic relationship with her mother which resulted in constant fights between the two on how to raise Logan. Lastly, giving birth as teenager could have contributed to her behavior.
Certain social factors explain Kathy Baker’s behavior in the documentary. Since she gave birth to Christie when she was a teenager too, she wanted her to raise Logan just as she did with her. Christie also married a guy named Mitch, who was accused on sexual assault year ago.
One social factor explaining CPS action is that Christy was teenager hence, she did not possess appropriate skills and knowledge on how to raise the child. Second, CPS noticed that Logan’s mother never had a job. Therefore, she had no source of income to afford a house for both Logan and her. Lastly, Christy had no father figure to assist her in raising the child.
factor explaining Kathy baker’s behavior is family income. Since she is the
only one who worked and Christy did not, the family income was quite low. Her
personal income could also be used to explain her conduct since she earned very
little. Lastly, she was also single hence, she had not partner who could
supplement her income.
Popple, Philip R., and Leslie Leighninger. “The Policy-Based Profession.” Child Welfare: Family Preservation, no. 6, 2015,