Behavioral Sciences

Economic status such as severe economic stress and unemployment is important to explore when a child protective service (CPS) worker tries to validate an abuse. The complexity of this area and its association with other factors makes it a significant field in the process of verification of the presence of child abuse. The economic constraints or poverty per se is not the direct cause of child abuse but rather the effects of it such as stress, substance abuse, domestic violence and depression(Index).

An increase in the number of child abuses due to stress caused by poverty, unemployment, and economic decline is reported(Health24). Poverty and unemployment are considered as important risk dynamics in maltreatment of children(Congress of the United States 1988). Studies concluded that in families with low annual income the occurrence of severe or fatal injuries because of physical abuse and neglect is high(Neil Guterman, 2005). Unemployment can bring stress to the family resulting to child abuse. The root of the stress in unemployment is money problem.

When a parent loses a job the family will experience economic constraints and when interlinked with other factors this leads to child abuse. In child maltreatment, unemployment is considered as the most important forecaster of cases. Various studies done on the relation of unemployment and child abuse indicates that the incidence of child abuse increases proportionally with raises of unemployment cases(Congress of the United States 1988). Employed fathers are less likely to commit physical abuse to their children when compared to unemployed ones.
Another study also resulted into the conclusion that the number of cases of maltreatment increases with the number of unemployed fathers. Hypothesis of researches indicates that fathers who lost there job tries to reinstate their provider persona through abuse in their children and any family member. Behavioral changes such as irritability, increased temper, and being tense are observed in fathers that has financial problems. These uncontrollable economic burdens tend to provoke the breakdown of a parent’s ability to regain control over the situation(Neil Guterman, 2005).
It doesn’t mean though that child abuse only happens in poor households or communities. It has no social or economic boundaries but only with higher incidence in economically challenged families. There are also cases of child abuse that involves people with monetary capacity but those cases are in association with other factors like history of abuse, depression, and stress due to other factors. If I am a CPS worker I will explore the area first by getting the necessary historical information. Answers to questions such as who, what, when, where, how and why must be obtained(Justice, 2001 ).
Interviews with the victim, the offender, and people in their environment will help in answering the aforementioned question(NY). Research should be done on the financial status of the family including the employment status of the parents, the amount of annual income, the capacity to sustain the family’s needs through the income of parents, any family need that are not sustain due to income constraints, and any debts that will affect the economic standing of the family. After data gathering, the analysis of the obtained information is done. Association between the financial profile and child abuse is analyzed.
Evidences of the abuse should be searched in order to be able to substantiate the claim of child abuse. Information can be acquired by interview with the alleged offenders, the child, and individuals that can give information about the case like neighbors, and family friends(NY). Interview with the parent(s) of the alleged victim is conducted. Then interview with the alleged victim is done in a private setting with the permission of the parents of course. A medical examination of the victim is done especially in cases of sever injuries and sexual abuse.
The supposed place where the incident happened is examined and documented. Then the alleged victim is visited unannounced to identify the condition in the home. Individuals that can contribute substantial information about the case are also interviewed privately(Services, 2006). In investigation of child abuse cases credibility of evidence is defined as the likelihood that the information gathered is accurate. There are two types of evidence used in investigating the finding; and, these are the direct and indirect evidence.
Statements of witnesses are classified as direct evidences, while the indirect evidences rely on the presence of existence or nonexistence of circumstantial facts(Network, 2007). The investigator in order to determine if the information that will be used as evidence, he needs to assess the value and relevance of the information. The following are factors that affect the credibility of evidence gathered from all sources: corroborating evidence, source of information, and direct interest. Corroborating evidence are those that enables the pinpointing of facts and evidences that sustain prior statements.
Evidences classified as corroborating evidence gain more weight of credibility than those without verification or with sources that are independent. An example of corroborating physical evidence is a loop mark that is can be seen in the back of a child that gave a prior statement that he was hit by an extension cord. A corroborating witness is a person that verifies the prior statement of a certain person -the accused, accuser, or other witness. Source of information is more credible when it is more direct source of information that provides the foundation for a source’s opinion.
Example is that when a medical doctor gives his opinion using the medical records, it serves as a more credible source than that of a caseworker’s opinion of the injury. Direct interest offers greater accuracy when the person who stated the information has nothing to lose or to gain in doing so. The worker verifying the information must seek out independent verifications of the information given by suspects(Network, 2007). Professional sources credibility also has some factors that affect it. It does not necessarily apply that because the source of the information is a professional it’s already considered as accurate.
Professionals have no equal credibility in giving information thus evaluation of information given needs to be done according to the following factors: training, experience, and specialization. The more training a professional has attended the more his credibility increases when compared to a professional with no training at all. Experience in the field of scope is necessary to increase the weight of credibility of the professional. Thus, a professional with more experience in the field of interest is more credible.
Increase in relevance to the subject of interest of a professional specialization also increases the professional’s credibility(Network, 2007). Evidence gathered from non-professional sources needs to be verified and the factors that affect the credibility of these sources are: consistency, and plausibility. Especially if the non-professional source is the person being investigated, appropriate measures of caution should be employed. It necessitates independent verification of the evidence provided by this source or gathering of more sources.
Consistent information is more credible and a plausible statement is the statement that seems true when the facts and circumstances are considered(Network, 2007). Credibility children sources are affected by the following factors: age and development of the child, plausibility, and evidence that an account of the facts has been influenced by others. The information given by an older child is greater in credibility than that of a younger child. But a younger child without exposure to sexual acts that is able to describe in detail the events that happen is more credible.
In evaluating plausibility of the information from a child source the development of the child’s communication skills and abilities have to be considered. The credibility of a child’s statement is increased if other people are not present during the giving of the statement or no one is pressuring the child(Network, 2007). Credibility of the information depends on the credibility of the sources. Independent verifications of sources should be done to test the accuracy of the information. In doing interviews with a child (18 years old below) either a victim or accused their welfare should be considered first.
They should not be subjected to situations that will make them more uncomfortable and will add to the burden of child abuse. 2. I will answer case vignette number 3. The indicator of abuse in case vignette number 3 is of a behavioral type in which the young woman became preoccupied and unable to study. Change in behavior is indicated in the symptoms of child sexual abuse(MedlinePlus, 2007). The young woman was preoccupied because there was this flashback of the sexual abuse that occurred. Basically the abuse done to the woman can still be classified under the child sexual abuse category because she was abused when she was only 15 years old.
The types of abuse involved are: sexual abuse by the father and neglect on the part of the mother because she even accused her daughter of seducing her own father. What will I do with the information? I will search for the name of the woman and address then maybe I could go to her and encourage her to report the abuse that was done to her. If ever that the woman can not afford to report the case to the authorities because she loves her family, I will suggest that the entire family should undergo an emotional and psychiatric treatment. The treatment is especially important to the woman victim for her to be able to move on.
Maybe I can also talk to the mother so that someone can advice her of the pain she is causing her child. Then maybe I might be able to convince her to be by the side of her daughter because in times like this a daughter can be helped much by a loving mother. The given information is not enough for me to report the case to a Child Protective Service so I need to gather more information. Other information needed in reporting cases of child abuse are: name and residence of the child/parents; age, sex, and gender of the child; name of suspect of the child abuse, and composition or profile of the family(Botash, 2007).
The course of action that I will take is to report the case to the proper authorities which is the Child Protective Service because the incidence of child abuse continues to increase due to the lack of vigilance in reporting the cases. If each and every citizen will do his/her part in the reporting of these child abuse I think that it might help in decreasing the numbers of the incidence because the abusers will be afraid of the vigilance of the people and the punishments of their crime.
I also think that the case needs to be reported so that the woman can have the proper treatments, psychiatric and emotional related. What would make me decide not to take action is if the woman herself already reported the abuse. I will make my stand in the vigilance of reporting so that the repetition of the abuse by her father can be prevented and the woman will be protected against her parents that abused and neglected her. Thus no matter what happens I will report the case for the safety of the woman, and for her father to be punished if proven guilty.
Works Cited Botash, A. “Child Abuse Evaluation and Treatment for Medical Providers”. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from http://www. childabusemd. com/reporting/how-report. shtml. 2007. Congress of the United States, O. o. T. A. “Healthy children: investing in the future”. DIANE Publishing. 1988. Health24. “What causes child abuse? ” Retrieved October 28, 2007, from http://www. health24. com/child/Abuse/833-859,12694. asp Index, L. ” Causes and Effects of Child Abuse – Some Contributing Factors to Child Abuse”. Retrieved October 28, 2007, from http://www.
libraryindex. com/pages/1388/Causes-Effects-Child-Abuse-SOME-CONTRIBUTING-FACTORS-CHILD-ABUSE. html Justice, U. S. D. o. “Law Enforcement Response to Child Abuse: Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse”. NCJ. 2001. MedlinePlus. “Child Abuse”. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from http://www. nlm. nih. gov/medlineplus/childabuse. html#cat5. 2007. Neil Guterman, Y. L. ” The Role of Fathers in Risk for Physical Child Abuse and Neglect: Possible Pathways and Unanswered Questions”. Child Maltreat, 10, 136. 2005. Network, P. C.
“Intake / Investigation”. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from http://www. prairienet. org/dcfs-project/investigation/investigation-07. html. 2007. NY, P. C. A. “A Parents’ Guide to the New York State Child Protective System”. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from http://www. preventchildabuseny. org/cpsandcourts. shtml#cps Services, O. D. o. H. “340:75-3-8. 2. Protocol for investigating reports of abuse in child care centers or homes”. Retrieved October 30, 2007, from http://www. okdhs. org/library/policy/oac340/075/03/0008002. htm. 2006.

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