Working with Children and Families

The number of children and adults in the UK that are in urgent need of the basic life requirements such as food, healthcare, shelter and clothing continue to rise daily. Social workers play a huge role in providing some of these needs to help them cope with stress of life. We help in dealing with systematic problems that arise from these stresses.

The Briggs – Gueye Family are faced with life challenges the children are very vulnerable. Billy was very much neglected by his biological father. Together with Chloe, they were abused and neglected by Dakarai. Dakarai was not their real father. On this basis it is assumed that his actions may threat the normal life of these children and their mother. Therefore they will all be put under the protection plan according to section 47 of the Children Act. Under this act, the family has the right to be put under the protection plan to ensure they are safe from any kind of threat and preventing them from receiving further harm (HM Government, 2013). The protection plan will be provided by the local authorities.

The whole family is in need they need food, health care and proper home care, the life of all the children is at risk of contracting diseases. I will make an application to the local authority to carry its responsibilities of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children within its area and in this case the children of both Dakarai and June. I will facilitate implementation of this Section 17 requirement and make sure that the local authority also promotes the upbringing of the children by seeking employment opportunities for Dakarai. This will enable him take care of his family. Under the same provision, the authority to extend its services to the family, which will mean the parents in this case, with a view to safeguard and continue promoting the children’s welfare.

Billy reports to school while he is dirty and Imani has a poor hygiene. These are indications of them being in need of health. They indicate an unlikeness of achieving better health situation or there is likelihood of a continuation of impairment in development. This is exhibited by Chloe who isolates herself thus not having friends. These children would be considered to be in need hence will have a right to receive proper healthcare, food and psychological assistance. Working in the social will make it easier to refer them to a proper medical facility, register them in basic need provision programs so that they live normal lives. This type of assistance will also be provided to Chloe eye sight difficulties and Imani’s speech and hearing problems as a form of a disability. I will write an application regarding these kinds of disabilities to the Treasury who will prescribe circumstances in which they can be treated.

The parents have failed in their parental responsibilities and if these type of disabilities puts a lot of pressure on them I will help them acquire ‘vouchers for persons with parental responsibility for disabled children.’ The voucher will be provided in terms of money or services.

The children have parents by virtue of section 43 of the Children act 1989. I will make the parents understands these provisions of the Act that forces them to have parental responsibilities for the children. This responsibility does not cease even when the children receive any other type of parental care as explained in Section 2.

I will use an interview as a form of assessment in this family set-up. Each member will go through an oral interview but the parents will also be given some written questionnaires. The interviews will be done in one unit and privately with each member. The children will also be interviewed as a group because some children talk when they are in presence of familiar people. The interview will involve interacting with them, communicating with them through narration and keeping records of whatever will be discussed. I will do it in some cases in form of questions and answers while referring to the Children Act 1989 requirements. During assessment I will compare the members’ situation and experiences with the directives in the Act.

As a social worker I am aware of the cultural diversity among the members of Briggs – Gueye family. I will acknowledge and be sensitive to the ethnical and cultural diversity of this family (Yanca &Johnson, 2008; Samantrai, 2004). It is a pre-requisite approach of forming trust (Derrington & Kendall, 2004). I will use this understanding which will help me find acceptance.

Good communication means being a good listener (Bolger & Walker, 2014) and honest in my response (Diggins, 2004). While trying to retrieve information I will empathize with them while narrating their experiences. One study that involved analyzing 24 social worker and client interviews, found that social workers in all but one interview showed little empathy leading to the client resistance and disclosing of information (Forrester, Kershaw, Moss & Hughes, 2007).

Failure to do assessment has been found to result in repeated abuse (Farmer, Sturgess & O’Neill, 2008). It includes collecting data, analyzing and interpreting information, making judgments and deciding or making recommendations (Milner and O’Byrne, 2009). The moment I identify any breach of human rights or of any Children Act guideline, I must develop an immediate responsive action (Zavirsek, Rommelspacher & Staub- Bernaconi, 2010). The children in the Briggs-Gueye family will need protection and care from the local authority and the parents have the right to be considered especially when Dakarai is unemployed. Social Services should also be required to continue with their services that they neglected of protecting the children as depicted in the Children Act 1989 section 17 which states that that Local Authorities who take children under their care are responsible for safeguarding their welfare including that of their families if they contribute to safeguarding or promoting their welfare

There are many legislation, policies and guidelines that have been enacted to protect both children and families. Understanding them enables me protect their interests and improve their quality of lives. The Children’s Act 2004 is concerned in ensuring that children are protected from harm and neglect, access education, training, and recreation, have support to ensure their physical and mental health and emotional well-being. In relation to The Briggs – Gueye Family, children’s services authority identify any neglect and abuse, and in turn address their needs using appropriated strategies and resources (Brandon, Belderson, Warren, Howe, Gardner, Dodsworth & Black, 2008; Brandon, Bailey, Belderson, Gardner, Sidebotham, Dodsworth, Warren & Black, 2009; Hicks and Stein, 2009).

Under the working together to safeguard children 2013, children are protected from being maltreated by any kind of person; they grow up in circumstances that provide safety and effective care. Under the Every Child Matters legally underpinned in the Children Act 2004, individuals and institutions are required to provide all their support in ensuring that children are safe, stay healthy, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. The Children Act 1989 specifies that Local Authorities who take children under their care are responsible for their welfare including the whole family if it contributes to safeguarding or promoting the children’s welfare (17:3).

Another provision that a local authority is mandated to provide by the Children Act 1989 is offering services that would otherwise be requested to be provided by the parents. In addition, it has a duty to ensure the children’s educational requirements are achieved. The acts also provide a channel and reasons through which a child who is vulnerable to harm can be protected.

From the Briggs – Gueye Family Case Study, I have identified some forms of discrimination. Dakarai’s failure to get employment in his new home since coming from Africa underlies discrimination in job placements. The cultural differences might be the cause for this. The family was very much amassed in poverty and the children became victims of it. The children were put under protection and benefits but their poverty showed neglect from the social services. Behavioural difficulties and lack of good eyesight might have made this family from receiving assistance from institutions of help. The fear that this family might be costly to manage might have scared people from helping it. This includes the violent character of Dakarai.

As the UK population increases so do people who require social services. Social working involves providing basic needs to these people such as food, healthcare, shelter and clothing. From the Briggs – Gueye Family Case Study we have identified challenges that families face and type of need that they require. We also identified the type of needs that Briggs and Gueye family require. They include the right to receive basic products and services. Dakarai has a right to get employment to feed the family. The parents need voucher to take care of Chloe and Imani’s form of disabilities. The family especially the parents have a responsibility to provide parental care to their family.

Many legislation, policies and guidelines have been enacted to protect both children and families. We have the Children’s Act 2004, working together to safeguard children 2013, The Children Act 1989 and many others. The aim of all these acts and laws is to protect and promote welfare of children and families. Briggs – Gueye Family have been discriminated by being neglected in provision of basic needs.

 

References

Brandon, M., Belderson, P., Warren, C., Howe, D., Gardner, R., Dodsworth, J and Black, J (2008) Analysing Child Deaths and Serious Injury through Abuse and Neglect: What Can We Learn? A biennial analysis of serious case reviews 2003-2005. Research Report DCSF-RR023. University of East Anglia

Brandon, M., Bailey, S., Belderson, P., Gardner, R., Sidebotham, P., Dodsworth, J., Warren, C. and Black, J. (2009) Understanding Serious Case Reviews and their Impact: A Biennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2005-07. Research Report DCSF-RR129. University of East Anglia.

Derrington, C. and Kendall, S. (2004). Gypsy Traveller Students in Secondary Schools. Staffordshire: Trentham Books.

Farmer, E., Sturgess, W. and O’Neill, T. (2008) The Reunification of Looked after Children with Their Parents: Patterns interventions and outcomes. Report to the Department for Children, Schools and Families, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

Forrester, D., Kershaw, S., Moss, H. & Hughes, L. (2008). “Communication skills in child Protection: How do social workers talk to parents?” Child and Family Social Work. Vol. 13 Issue 1, pp. 41-51

Hicks, L. & Stein, M. (2009) Neglect Matters: A Multi-Agency Guide for Professionals Working Together on Behalf of Teenagers. London: Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Hm Government (2013). Working Together to Safeguard Children a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Crown. Retrieved January 9, 2015 at www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/statutory

Milner, J. and O’Byrne, P. (2009) Assessment in Social Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Samantrai, K. (2004) Culturally Competent Public Child Welfare Practice. USA: Brooks / Cole –Thompson Learning.

Yanca, S. & Johnson, L. (2008). Generalist Social Work Practice with Families. London. Pearson: Longman

Zavirsek, D., Rommelspacher, B. & Staub- Bernaconi, S. (2010): Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work: International Perspective. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana

The Children Act 2004 London: HMSO.

The Children Act 1989 London: HMSO.