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The maltreatment in foster family:From the experiences of foster care social workers
foster care social worker
Foster care services, on behalf of the government, provide what can be called substitutive services, as they assist children and adolescents living with families they were born into that no longer offer suitable environments for minors or lack resources necessary for minors to enjoy proper care. These services also prevent children and adolescents from suffering from maltreatment that could occur in their houses. Foster families actually provide social welfare by directly replacing the care role that previously belonged to the biological parents. Although the term foster family implies protection, sometimes foster children will suffer from maltreatment, with improper discipline-related incidents being the most common. This study explores the circumstances and causes for foster care children and adolescents placed in foster care homes who have received improper discipline from their foster families. This study also features the responses of foster families that have been investigated from the beginning to the end of these investigations; the experiences, feelings, and transformations of foster care social workers who have handled improper discipline cases; and the way(s) improper discipline should be responded to during and after the event. This study’s subjects are foster care social workers who have handled cases where foster families have given improper discipline to foster care children. Using the qualitative research method of in-depth interviewing, this study has seven interviewees. The research results and findings are as follows: 1.The cause of improper discipline occurring in a foster family typically involves more than one factor, as usually it is a result of multiple situations, which include the foster family and the foster care children as well as changes in the care environment and even system-related problems (such as a difficult to place foster care child who is unable to find another placement location). 2.When foster care social workers are handling cases where foster families have given improper discipline, in addition to their original role, responding to these improper discipline cases often results in them taking on an additional role(s) or having more work to do, causing a dilemma concerning how they should carry out their own role. 3.When response measures that deal with improper discipline are in progress, most importance is placed on evaluating the situations of the foster family and the foster care child(ren), as this helps both sides be able to be matched up in situations they can readily adapt to. The second most important facet is focusing attention on whether or not a foster family is burdened with too much pressure in regards to providing care, because assistance can be provided that will alleviate some of this pressure. Furthermore, increase the amount of counseling and discipline-related education and training for foster families, and regularly use evaluation tools that assess the pressure foster families have in regards to providing care, which can be accomplished by carrying out more accurate evaluations and providing services that better meet the needs of families and children. Based on the conclusions written above, this study recommends that assistance and relevant knowledge and skills should be provided to foster care social workers when they are handling cases of improper discipline occurring in foster families, and standard procedures and principles for handling these cases should be established as well. This writer hopes that the experiences of foster care social workers can be used as a reference by those working in foster care services, which will help better ensure that foster care children placed in homes are able to receive appropriate care and that foster families are able to provide foster care services without difficulty.
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