Poverty and black African families

Chapter TWO


Poverty and Child Protection

The country of poorness and kid protection with black African households has been the beginning of contention in British societal work research for many decennaries. Many research workers find a correlativity between economic want such as poorness and societal exclusion and rearing behavior and pattern, child-rearing capablenesss and accomplishments which are a requirement for proper kid development anyplace in the universe. Furthermore, harmonizing to Jordan ( 2001 ) poorness is strongly correlated with studies of maltreatment and disregard. For case, the National Centre for Children in Poverty found in 1990 that‘the incidence of kid maltreatment and disregard, every bit good as the badness of the ill-treatment reported, is much greater for kids from low-income households than for others ‘ ( Jordan, 2001 p.1 ) .As a big figure of Africans in the UK live below the poorness line, it may be reckoned that most black African kids on the kid protection registry live below the poorness line.

Brophy et Al ( 2003 ) argue that many households brought to the attending of the kid protection system lives in utmost poorness and may see societal exclusion. Black African kids populating in the UK may be over-represented in the kid protection system for grounds such as physical maltreatment or disregard ; therefore it is apprehensible to state that there is a correlativity between maltreatment and parenting behaviors and patterns. The inquiry is why African households and kids populating in poorness, who are alleged of kid maltreatment, are over-represented in the kid protection system? Sossou & A ; Yogtiba ( 2008 ) noted in their survey that a kid is the most valuable plus of any traditional African household, as kids symbolise position, regard and completeness of the atomic household, if that is the instance, so it is ironical to see African households and their kids to be over-represented in the kid protection system.

Many black African households in the UK still lives below the poverty-line though they undertake different types of unskilled or skilled occupations, they support big households in their states of beginning ( Anane-Agyei, 2002 ) . It is reckon that poorness is linked with other societal disadvantages such as hapless instruction, limited employment chances, and hapless wellness and may hold lay waste toing effects for kids ‘s development and life opportunities. Research shows that many African households and their kids have insecure in-migration position and their existing fiscal quandaries merely help to perplex their parenting behaviors and patterns. Penrose ( 2002 ) survey shows that African households seeking refuge in the UK are frequently forced to populate at degree of poorness that is merely unacceptable, and this causes fiscal restraint in their responsibility to supply equal child care for their kids. Unemployment degrees are known to be really high among African households, and they are besides capable of stigmatisation and bias by the larger community that are suppose to accept them.

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Some African households populating in the UK are without occupations and are besides non entitled to societal and economic benefit and hence happen it hard to raise their kids as expected by the Torahs of the land. Children turning up with parents populating in absolute poorness are deprived of proper childhood development as these hapless parents go through fiscal, emotional and psychological injury in their responsibility to care for these kids. African households populating in poorness and neglecting to supply good attention for their kids may be perceived by societal work professionals as neglecting in their parental duties. For this ground, societal workers may step in in such households and frequently than non they are drawn into the kid protection system.

Amin & A ; Oppenheim ( 2002 ) argue that the unfamiliar cultural outlook of black African households populating in the UK someway contribute to the high degree of poorness they experience. Research shows that many African households suffer from institutional subjugation including lodging, employment, instruction and wellness which non merely means that they are more likely to see poorness and want, but besides more susceptible to societal work intercessions in kid maltreatment or maltreatment allegations. Corby ( 1993 ) noted that it may be expected that black African kids are over-represented in kid maltreatment instances because their households are more unfastened to surveillance as they show high degrees of poorness that complicate their parenting behaviors. In a broader position, Pearce & A ; Bozalek ( 2004 ) emphasise that

‘the kid protection system that exist in Britain will be unfamiliar to many African households, particularly those more late arrived, as similar province systems do non be in most African states, peculiarly where socio-economic factors, political instability and force overshadow intra-familial kid ill-treatment and effectual intercession into child maltreatment and disregard ‘ ( Bernard & A ; Gupta, 2006 P ) .

Brophy et Al ( 2003 ) survey supports the above averment that African households experience favoritism and insecurity in kid maltreatment instances, as the tools for measuring maltreatment are frequently euro-centric prejudice and prejudice the households. Chand ( 1999 ) survey expresses the consciousness that black African households are disadvantaged through subjugation in all countries of society and this should non reflect in societal work pattern.

Gibbon et Al ( 2003 ) findings show that the kid protection system was picking up more alleged kid maltreatment instances unsuitably and seting more households and kids on the kid protection registry than kids who are capable to societal public assistance processs. Therefore the over-representation of African households on the kid protection registry somehow, undermines the authorities purpose of maintaining kids with households and cut downing the figure of kids that are drawn onto the kid protection registry. The Department of Health ( 1995 ) papers on kid protection identified some pertinent defects with the kid protection system. The system seems to promote unneeded kid protection intercessions in border-line kid maltreatment instances, which in many cases may hold emotional and traumatic effects on households and kids. Bernard & A ; Gupta ( 2008 ) in their survey of black African kids and the kid protection system suggest that there are a series of interactions between environmental factors such as poorness, in-migration position and societal exclusion that affect the life opportunities of many African kids and the capacity of their parents to supply equal attention. Dowling ( 1999 ) realise that societal work pattern in the UK focal point less on poverty-alleviating schemes but throw more resources behind safeguarding and protecting vulnerable kids from maltreatment or ill-treatment. Social workers need to understand the context in which maltreatment occurs, irrespective of race and civilization, to develop an appraisal and intercession procedure that is fairer for black households as they are more likely to endure racism and subjugation. In position of the above statement, it is pertinent that societal workers know when to use preventive steps to back up black African households who have fiscal demands and when to take such households through the kid protection system in the pursuit for safeguarding kids.

All these factors together create complex demands for many African kids populating in the UK, and, in many fortunes increase their exposures which draw them into the kid protection sphere. It can be argued that societal workers have limited preparation and accomplishments to understand the effects of poorness on parents ‘ capablenesss to supply equal attention for their kids and this normally reflects in societal work pattern. Bernard & A ; Bernard ( 2008 ) argued that merely by developing effectual relationships with African households can societal work professionals begin to understand their parenting behaviors and patterns.

Poverty and Child Welfare Services

Current literature shows that poorness experience by most black African households populating in the UK could be alleviated by societal work services that offer a matter-of-fact public assistance services instead than pulling these households and kids into the kid protection system. Brophy et Al ( 2003 ) survey suggests that in-migration and refuge issues, combined with poorness, are likely to be the grounds for the increased complexness for societal work professionals measuring and step ining kid maltreatment instances affecting black African kids. The Department of Health challenges societal workers with the duty to implement Section 17 of the Children Act 1995, to supply equal fiscal and societal support for kids in demand via the kid public assistance services ( Platt, 2006 ) . However, societal work bureaus have non to the full achieved the authorities docket of relieving poorness experience by many households and kids due to unequal resources at all degrees of societal work pattern.

The Department of Health have indicated that most households, battle to convey up their kids in conditions of stuff and emotional hardship ( DoH, 2001 ) . For case black African households sing poorness may neglect in their duty to supply proper attention for their kids as they spent about all their clip working to do ends meet. Such kids barely experience household dainties such as traveling on a household vacation trip, holding birthday parties and they are deprived of holding basic playing playthings and games that help kids to larn and turn into maturity. The deficiency of low-cost basic demands for kids of hapless households complicated with other societal hardships may lend to hapless kids developing aggressive behaviors, low self-pride, picking up awkward attitudes, and may to endure from societal want. Fontes ( 2005 ) realises that many traditional immigrant households, where black Africans are portion of, may utilize an important manner of parenting, demanding entire obeisance and regard from their kids.

Although these parental patterns may non needfully represent kid maltreatment, it clashes with the child-rearing norms of British civilization, and seems to convey African kids and households to the attending of the kid protection system. When societal workers start admiting boundary line kid maltreatment instances and understand the troubles households populating in poorness experience in raising their kids, there would be a right balance between when to use a kid protection intercession and a kid public assistance intercession ( Spratt & A ; Callan, 2004 ) . It is apparent that kids populating in poorness may profit from the kid public assistance services as stipulated in subdivision 17 of the 1989 Children Act, as it aims at relieving poorness in households and kids in demand ( Platt, 2006 ) . Harmonizing to Thoburn et Al ( 2007 ) probes of alleged kid maltreatment instances tend to concentrate more on hazard appraisal instead than assessment about developmental and societal demands of the kid in entity. In peculiar, societal workers transporting out an probe into alleged kid maltreatment may non pick up parental and child upbringing issues ensuing from poorness or societal want ( Farmer and Owen, 2005 ) . Brophyet Al( 2003 ) survey concluded

‘that many black African parents, saw province intercession in rearing as a complete bete noire and distrust.. , particularly where they have immigrated from states in political convulsion and with no kid public assistance services ‘ ( Bernard & A ; Gupta, 2008 p.481 ) .

Arguably societal work intercession in child ill-treatment or maltreatment instances seems to belie Section 17 of the Children Act, as recent research reveals high degrees of satisfaction amongst parents and kids having societal public assistance services compare to those households drawn into kid protection ( Tunstill and Aldgate, 2000 ) . The relationship between societal work mission with respect to poorness and the type of societal work pattern poses a quandary for societal workers.

The refocusing enterprise of societal work pattern, as defined by Platt ( 2006 ) , in kid maltreatment instances may profit households populating in utmost poorness, merely when societal work intercessions aim at advancing societal alteration in households. Therefore, societal public assistance intercessions promote and empower households with fiscal troubles and who besides suffer societal exclusion to develop appropriate parental behavior and accomplishment that encourage proper kid attention ( Monnickendam and Monnickendam, 2009 ) .

Poverty and Parenting Practices

Poverty among many black African households affects the physical and emotional developments of African kids populating anyplace in the universe. Poverty may act upon parents ‘ behaviors and capablenesss to supply for their households the basic demands of life. Bernard & A ; Gupta ( 2008 ) survey highlights the limited attending given to child-rearing patterns of African households in kid public assistance research in the UK. Different child-rearing patterns exist in different civilizations, but there is merely one sort of child-rearing pattern that is considered ‘normal ‘ . Many research findings point out to the fact that poverty- related parenting patterns influence the lives of many African kids involved in the kid protection system. Therefore, Child ( 1999 ) remarks that when differences in child-rearing and ethnicity are explored the black household is frequently pathologized and their strengths ignored. For case black African households are excessively rigorous and crush their kids or tend to penalize their kids in a more punitory manner. Therefore harmonizing to Chand ( 1999 ) subject is one country where African households are found to be over-represented in the kid protection system. It is of import, that societal workers redirect attending from child protection intercessions to the proviso of preventive to back up households in demand. Shor ( 2000 ) argue that the relationship between values and kid upbringing forms illuminates the relationship between poorness and parenting behaviors, as parents from low societal category differ in footings of the values they uphold for their kids. Shor ( 2000 ) besides argue that there is correlativity between black African female parents with low income position utilizing a more autocratic attack of caring for their kids than female parents with high income position. Therefore, harmonizing to Fontes ( 2005 ) , many traditional immigrant households may utilize an important manner of parenting, demanding entire obeisance and regard from their kids, although this parental behavior may non needfully represent kid maltreatment, but may conflict the norms of the land, and convey such parents to the attending of the kid protection system. It is hence paramount for societal work professionals working with black African households populating in the UK to develop the necessity cognition and accomplishments, non merely across diverse civilizations but understanding the affect of poorness and societal exclusion on parental behaviors and capablenesss. Poverty tends to engender a sort of parenting patterns that make kids experience unpleasant devastating life style because their parents barely can afford to care for them. Even where it is apparent that a kid has suffered important injury and the kid demand to be removed from the household, the manner of intercession procedure deploy by the societal work squad should be such that it empowers the affected households to develop new get bying accomplishments and behaviors for future parenting. It is hence paramount for societal workers to hold some cognition and understand the diverseness of rearing patterns that exist in modern-day societal work pattern so as to spot unacceptable behaviors from unacceptable behaviors. The effects of misinterpreting what behavior is unacceptable may either pull more black African kids and their households into the kid protection system or sabotage the committedness by societal workers to safeguard vulnerable kids from the hazard of important injury.

The Government Regulatory Policies

In the early 1990s there was an tremendous authorities attempt to develop and advance policies which challenge the influence of a kid protection civilization on direction and societal work pattern, which has been perceived as falsifying the balance of service proviso to kids and households ( Spratt and Callan, 2004 ) . The refocusing enterprise necessitated the displacement in societal work pattern from what appeared to be an overly kid protection position towards a kid public assistance orientation in the United Kingdom ( Platt, 2006 ) . Harmonizing to Platt ( 2006 ) the protagonism for a displacement in societal work pattern from an overly focal point kid protection work position towards a kid public assistance pattern shows a gradual move towards poverty relief among hapless households populating in the UK. Both Parton ( 1995 ) and Pelton ( 1998 ) research supports the demand to get the better of pertinent obstructions in the mode societal work is pattern to accomplish societal alteration at household or community degrees, and emphasised the failure of the child-care systems effort to pull off child protection hazards and run into the demands of kids and their households. However, the authorities ‘s policy as stated in the 1989 Children Act aims to incorporate kid protection and kid public assistance services. Harmonizing to Platt ( 2006 ) many kids who are topics of subdivision 47 probes are besides eligible for services as ‘children in demand ‘ . To reinstate public trust, the authorities have redefined the primary responsibilities of local governments within the context of the 1989 Children Act so as to safeguard and supply services needed by hapless kids by carry oning initial appraisals, instead than child protection probes in boundary line instances. This policy execution has become possible by procedural accommodations to other legislative counsel such as Working Together to Safeguard Children and the subsequent execution of the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families ( Platt, 2006 ) .

The mid-1990s proverb a turning consensus that many kids who are topics of Section 47 probes due to alleged maltreatment or disregard are besides eligible for services as kids in demand as in Section 17 of the 1989 Children Act ( Platt, 2006 ) . Often, Platt ( 2006 ) reckoned such kids do non have public assistance services because local authorization societal work excessively focuses on kid protection instead than household support oriented services. In position of the refocusing inaugural societal workers have the legislative backup to near households alleged of border-line kid maltreatment to utilize the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families as counsel with a position to happening appropriate societal work intercession pattern that may turn to the demands of these kids. In the UK the statute law on kids welfare recommends all referrals of kid maltreatment instances must ab initio be offered a comprehensive kid in need appraisal except in exigency instances or where it is suspected that a kid is enduring from important injury ( Platt, 2006 ) .

The Children Act ( 1989 ) is the chief authorities statute law taking to revolutionize societal work pattern and proceedings refering the public assistance of kids in the UK. The Act considers the primary duty of child-rearing to remainders with households and hence, kids involvements will be served best by back uping them to turn up with their ain household. Besides the Children Act ( 1989 ) aid harmonize household liberty and to enable households to exert their parental duties without unneeded province intervention and for the province to support and protect kids merely where parents are neglecting to run into their kids demands ( www.dvon.gov.uk/child-protection-procedures accessed 09/01/2010 ) . Under the Children Act 1989, local governments have a general responsibility to safeguard and advance the public assistance of kids in demand within their country. The statute law requires local governments to measure a kid ‘s developmental demands so as to advance their public assistance, and by making so kids are supported to populate with their households ( www.dvon.gov.uk/child-protection-procedures accessed 09/01/2010 ) .

In the contrary Section 47 requires local authorization to look into when there is sensible cause to surmise that a kid is enduring, or is likely to endure important injury. The probe will include an aim of the demands of the kid, including the hazard of maltreatment and demand for protection, every bit good as the household ‘s ability to run into those demands ( www.devon.gov.uk/child-protection-procedures accessed 09/01/2010 ) . Therefore, societal workers need to do opinions in kid maltreatment instances on how to step in so that kids do non go on to go forth in unsafe and hazardous state of affairss or of taking kids unnecessarily from their household. The quandary of striking the right balance between child protection and kid public assistance services in child maltreatment instances is for societal workers to establish their opinion on matter-of-fact appraisal of the demands of the kids and the parental capableness to provide for their kids demands

Harmonizing to Spratt and Callan ( 2004 ) the Department of Health counsel paperssWorking Together to Safeguard ChildrenandThe Assessment Frameworkhave been paralleled by enterprises to supply a tip on the way of modern-day societal work pattern.

Chapter THREE


In societal work pattern, it is of import for societal workers to establish their work on theoretical premises, whether they are cognizant of them or non ( Munro, 1998 ) . This theoretical model ushers societal workers in make up one’s minding who or what should be the primary focal point of appraisal or intercession and, every bit good as the aims and the procedures of societal work pattern ( Healy, 2005 ) . Many other authors like Fook et Al ( 2000 ) , who are of the position that societal workers need to utilize theories in their work pattern, besides emphasized why societal workers should develop the capacity to place, usage and develop societal work theory in their pattern ( Healy, 2005 ) . Social work has its roots in the battle of society to cover with poorness and its eventful jobs. Many research workers link societal work pattern to the political orientation of charity work, but in a broader perspective societal work embraces both the preventive and protective facet of vulnerable people within society ( www.globalvision.org Accessed on 14/12/2009 ) . The term societal work pattern normally describes work undertaken with persons, households, groups and communities.

In the history of British societal work pattern, the term encompasses the usage of societal work cognition and accomplishments within the model of societal attention administration so as to heighten the proviso of services and pattern which is consistent with the BASW Codes of Practice. This construct of societal work pattern promotes protection, safeguarding and societal inclusion and provides life chances for people utilizing societal work services. In the codification of moralss, it is emphasise that for societal work pattern to be successful, societal work bureaus must work efficaciously with other attached administrations such as the constabulary service, wellness service, and instruction service so as to advance kids public assistance ( www.basw.co.uk/ accessed 01/02/2010 ) . In the huge bulk of cases societal work pattern is a collaborative activity non an single activity whether as societal worker employee or an independent societal worker. Social work pattern purposes at altering people ‘s behaviors in the mode that will supply life options for people and to ease easy passages of life state of affairss ( Smale et Al, 2000 ) . Social work is a demanding profession which is based on a organic structure of values, cognition, accomplishments and personal properties, and requires the committedness of societal workers to continually upgrade their cognition and accomplishments in their field of pattern. The International Federation of Social Workers provinces that:

‘Social work bases its methodological analysis on a systematic organic structure of evidence-based cognition derived from research and pattern rating, including local and autochthonal cognition particular to its context. It recognizes the complexness of interactions between human existences and their environment, and the capacity of people both to be affected by and to change the multiple influences upon them including bio-psychosocial factors. The societal work profession draws on theories of human development and behavior and societal systems to analyze complex state of affairss and to ease single, organisational, societal and cultural alterations ( www.ifsw.org accessed 14/01/2010 p.1 ) .

Harmonizing Graham ( 1999 ) the history of African heritage in the development of societal public assistance and societal work is found in the deferrals of British history but it remains mostly unacknowledged and sparsely documented as societal work continues to be steeped in the professional surroundings of an bing ethnocentric cognition base and value system ( p.263 ) . Research grounds ( Graham, 1999 ) shows that societal work pattern within the black African community in the UK has emerged out of concerns about the wellbeing of kids and households whose experience of captivity and servitude necessitated attempts to better their life conditions. The Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work ( CCETSW ) recognises that the effects of racism on black African people are incompatible with the values of societal work and hence seeks to battle racialist patterns in all countries of its duties ( CCETSW, 1996 ) . Dominelli ( 2002 ) advocates for anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory societal work pattern to define subjugation and racism which breed some of the societal jobs that affect traditional societal work mark populations. Earlier research by Platt ( 1999 ) shows an increasing consciousness among societal workers that the traditional societal work theoretical accounts are non effectual in turn toing the demands of African people in the UK. However, the current societal work theory and pattern which is founded on ethnocentric value systems, lack the necessary resources to turn to the demands of African households and their kids. It is hence pertinent for societal work pattern to be designed to reflect other diverse positions and cultural values, peculiarly African households and their kids who are more unfastened to surveillance, as they besides show high degree of poorness.

Contemporary Social Work Practices

It was non until the mid 20th century when the International Federation of Social Workers, defined the nucleus purpose of societal work to be alleviation poorness, emancipating vulnerable and laden people with the ultimate purpose to advance societal inclusion ( Horner, 2003 ) . The Modernisation docket introduced by the Labour authorities in 1997 set the foundation for the construct of coaction and partnership to be established between professions and services. Following up to this, the construct of partnership and coaction have become a on the job papers for societal work pattern and underpin long term planning ( Whittington, 2003 ) . Crisp et Al ( 2003 ) besides found that when societal workers engage with other inter-professional and multi-agency pattern, it promotes prospect for common evidences with other professions, and the potency for professional differences to be recognised and negotiated.

In modern-day societal work pattern, the National Association of Social Workers ( NASW ) codification of moralss emphasizes the importance for societal workers to understand the centrality of relationships as an of import vehicle for societal alteration. Social workers are encouraged to prosecute service users as spouses in assisting them to achieve the needful alteration. Most research shows that societal work appraisal and intercession are built-in characteristics of modern-day pattern in societal work services. Social work appraisal represents the entry of a systematic attack to set up a common relationship between a societal worker and service users. Social work pattern is characterised by the new balance in the relationship between the province and the household as societal workers remain responsible for pull offing child protection hazards and supplying kid public assistance services within an incorporate system. In Spratt and Callan ( 2004 ) survey it is realised that the balance between safeguarding and advancing public assistance services for kids in demand who are populating with their households in the UK has non yet been achieved as set out in the authorities policy developments. Lord Laming ‘s Report on the decease of Victoria Climbie lead to the publication of the papers,Every Child Matters, which set the precedence for kids non merely to be protected from important injury but to be safeguarded and their public assistance promoted ( Parton, 2006 ) .

A survey paper published by the Department of Health ( 2001 ) indicates that many households irrespective of their ethnicity and faith, battle to convey up their kids in conditions of poorness and societal exclusions. Social exclusions and poorness make it highly hard for many African households to develop the appropriate parenting accomplishments needed for proper child-rearing, and sometimes may dominate kid ill-treatment. Pierce & A ; Bozalek ( 2004 ) suggest that many African households seeking refuge or migrated to the UK are unfamiliar with the British kid protection system, as similar province systems do non be in Africa, and hence happen the systems intimidating and unfriendly. Brophyet Al( 2003 ) argued that poorness among black African households may impact the development of many African kids and their parent ‘s capacity to supply for them. It is hence paramount that poorness is considered to the full understand by societal work professionals during the initial appraisal of households involved in alleged kid maltreatment instances. Platt ( 1999 ) argued that the refocusing of societal work intercession is a consequence of increasing figure of kid protection allegations referred into the system, and the proportion of instances taking to societal work intercessions. This type of intercession draws a big figure of kids into the kid protection system compared to kids who are capable to further public assistance processs.

In the context of societal work patterns, it is of import to see the effectivity of the kid protection system, as it seems to accomplish every bit much as could be expected in footings of the limited purpose of forestalling farther maltreatment to identifiable vulnerable kids. Social workers ‘ function may be considered as facilitating or authorising service users but, specialised accomplishments and cognition are needed to place jobs with households and their kids involve in kid protection and besides to happen sound intercessions that would convey about the necessary societal alteration. Crisp et Al ( 2003 ) states that societal work appraisal‘involves roll uping and analyzing information about people with the purpose of understanding their state of affairs and finding recommendations for any farther professional intercession ‘ ( p.3 ). Monnickendam & A ; Monnikendam ( 2009 ) argue that the cardinal quandary confronting modern-day societal work pattern is the extent and mode to perpetrate to societal public assistance policy or the extent to direct its attempts chiefly to the hapless and destitute. Arguably societal work pattern that engage in societal public assistance policy tends to turn to poorness through macro-level intercession which aims at advancing societal alteration, but societal work patterns taking at single households populating in poorness consequence in poorness relief by helping those in demand to develop better life style schemes. Therefore, Monnickendam & A ; Monnikendam ( 2009 ) research shows that the purpose of societal work pattern in achieving societal alteration and covering with poorness is barely come-at-able merely by micro pattern. Henceforth the relationship between the mission of societal work with respect to poorness and the type of societal work intercession needed to protect and safeguard kids from farther maltreatment becomes a hard challenge for societal workers.


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