Some reasons that children may need to be looked after outside their homes, may include; neglect, abuse, financial difficulties, illness or family breakdowns. The cares that can be given to these children include; adoption, foster care, respite care, emergency care, shared family care and care within a residential setting. Adoption may be seen as a last resort, as it involves the children being taken out of the home permanently, and being placed with another family.
This often happens if numerous attempts have been made to help the child’s biological parents, and they have failed. Meaning it may no longer be safe to leave the child with its parents. By putting the child with an adoptive family, it gives the child the best chance of developing in the way a child should like reaching mile stone, and also for them to live free of harm and abuse. Foster caring is more common as this involves often only taking the child away on a temporary bases, again to live with another family.
Taking the child away temporarily enables services such as social services to work with the parents, to improve aspects such as the living conditions of child the child, in order for the child to eventually return home, if improvements have been made. Social services may be able to work with parents and enable them to overcome problems such as financial difficulties or substance abuse. Before a person can become a foster carer, they must have specialised training, in order for them to deal with children, that may have difficulty and complex problems that may have arisen from their previous living situation or abuse.
Relevant training will be provided as part of our ongoing training programme. All carers will be expected to complete first aid training and encouraged to address learning on basic health and hygiene issues with particular emphasis on health promotion and communicable diseases. ” (Medway. gov 2010) Supervising social workers should ensure that they pay attention to the training needs of carers and other members of the household, addressing these in the appraisal of training and development needs, which will be documented in the annual review report. They will undergo screenings to make sure that they are fit to look after a child such as a CRB, licensing and certification that they are able and willing to look after the child. This means that the child is at less risk of harm as the foster parents are educated and what the child may be going through. It is important in both foster care and adoption that an assessment is done of the child, so that the new carers are aware of anything that may affect the child in anyway.
This could include any health problems that the child may have, so that the carers can continue medication and make sure the child is health, or if they are in school, that they continue on in their education, if possible in the same school they were in before. This could help the child as they would be around familiar faces, making it easier for the child to adapt to their new circumstances. “Responsible authorities are required to make arrangements for a registered medical practitioner to conduct an assessment either before making a placement, or as soon as reasonable practicable afterwards.
This may include a physical examination of the child’s state of health” (Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991 as amended). Respite care and day centres can help parents that have a child with a disability or a behavioural problem. Respite care can be anything from a day to a week. If a parent looks after a disabled child, they may opt to put their child into respite care for a couple of days, to have a break from caring. This may help stop the parents becoming abusive to the child as they are able to have a break from caring for the child.
It may also help individuals such as single parents, by providing services like after school care so that the parent is able to work, especially if the parent has no other family able to look after the child. Respite care can also be used as emergency and unscheduled care, for last minute situations, such as if a parent becomes ill and the child needs to be looked after immediately. “Respite carers offer support to; first time mothers, work with children up to the age of 14 years old, provide planned summer holiday care, work with social services and prepare reports and procedures and assessments. ” (2012.
Bedfordshire borough council. ) By working in conjunction with social services and it means that any abuse or ill treatment that may be occurring with a child will be spotted quickly, and further action may be taken to take the child out of their homes on more permanent bases. A child may be put into emergency care if their living situation has suddenly become dangerous or unsettled. Emergency care may be in a shelter, respite care or family care. This may happen if abuse is suspected and there is solid evidence that this is happening, Also, the signs must be clear; including; bruise especially in the shape of hand marks r slap marks also in the shape of hands or rope, bruises that are not consistent with the child’s age, such as bruising on the face, back, thighs and stomachs. This would mean that once the child is out of imminent danger, social services could investigate further, and may be even look into re homing the child permanently with either another family member (family care) or with a foster or adopted family, or placing them with another family member. Policies and procedures within these setting ensure that children are kept safe and abuse is avoided.
Each has a set rule which has to be followed if abuse is suspected. This can be under the establishments “whistle blowing” policy. This includes making a record of anything that could lead to the suspicion of abuse such as bruising, or behaviour changes. If abuse is suspected, then it should recorded dated and signed, and then kept in a secure place so that it is kept confidential and legal. It is important that if any member of staff suspects abuse, or if a child discloses abuse, that it is recorded straight away, without delay, as the child may be in imminent danger.
For example, if social services were to visit someone’s home where abuse of a child is suspected, then they should make a record of it, and then either act immediately or decide on action, such as other visits, or carry out an assessment of the child. Other policies and procedures that may be in place could include; assessment policy, education policy, health and safety policy, promotion of health and development of children in foster care. These promote the safety of children and enable them to be free from abuse, and able to develop how they should.
Enabling a child that has been taken out of the home, to continue in their education is vital. This is because a child develops skills within a school setting, such as socialising, the principal of sharing, and building effective relationships. If a child was deprived of education then they may find it harder to build relationships in the future. A school is also a place that a child can feel safe, as they are around people that they trust such as teachers and friends, and taking a child away from this could cause disruption in their lives, which may lead to problems such as aggression, depression or resentment to other.
As well, if a child is being taken out of their home, they may find that their school is the only constant in their lives, as it is a familiar place to them, and changing their school, may cause them to experience more disruption and make them loose trust in people, making it hard to gain the child’s trust. It could also make them socially outcast at a new school as they may be seen to be “different”, which could lead to bullying, and may be even self abuse of the child as they get older. Within a residential care home, it is vital that the child is able to continue in their development.
The carers must meet the basic needs of the child in order them to develop not only physically but mentally as well. This can be linked with the education policy as it includes continuing the child’s education, meaning they would continue to develop mentally as well as continuing to develop the child’s social skills. If the development of the child is neglected physically, it may lead to health problems or problems within the child that could be missed such as depression, and if mentally they are not allowed to develop it could cause problems with social interaction with others, such as making friends and building relationships.
Barriers that could occur in children in care such as, lack of communication to them about the situation that they are in, so they are unable to understand what is going on with them, distrust in adults as they are seen to be a problem or not seem to be trusted as they are seen to the child as the reason they are upset or being moved around, lack of continuity in care as they may come into contact with a lot of different health and social care workers in the time that they are moved, which could then lead to low self esteem in the child as they may feel that it is their fault.
Another problem may be that care services do not have access to accurate health records, as parents may have been deceitful to doctors and hospital in order to hide the abuse or neglect. This makes it hard for the care of the child to be continued because they cannot trust what has been said about what has happened to the child. A policy that could help stop this from happening is the “every child matters” policy. “The main focus areas are early intervention, a shared sense of responsibility, information sharing and integrated front line services.
Emphasis is placed upon the idea that, for each child to fulfil their potential, there must be a greater deal of co-operation, not only between Government agencies, but also between schools, GPs, Sports organisations and the Voluntary and Community sector. ” (education. gov 2010) This ensure that all children are looked after and that there is communication between services to make sure that children get the care they should, when in care.