(concerning digitization) and cultural shifts (towards a more individualistic consumer society) appear to have handed new media technologies a competitive advantage over their predecessors” (Freedman, 2006, 275). With more and more people utilizing the new forms of disseminating relevant issues and information for various purposes, critical issues on child welfare are increasingly being criticized.
Children at very young ages are solely dependent on their parents for support – physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and in other developmental aspects. Parents usually devote quality time and effort to assure that their kids experience a wide spectrum of developmental and socialization skills needed to prepare them for the future. Issues that affect children’s welfare are scrutinized for violations of ethical codes of conduct in terms of research and manner of dissemination to the public.
Ethical issues in research involving children range from concerns affecting children directly and the areas involved in undertaking the research. Those critical ethical issues that emerge affecting children are giving informed consent, competencies of children, environmental and social context, and controversial issues such as child abuse, neglect and all forms of aggression, among others. Issues affecting child welfare take into consideration the sensitivity of the topic, the aims of the research, methodologies, sources of funds, and participants to the study, to name a few.
According to the UNC – Chapel Hill School of Social Work (2005), “on the face of it the effectiveness of rural child welfare social workers and the media do not appear to be related, but they are. Indeed, any agency’s ability to ensure the safety and well-being of children is significantly influenced by the way that agency is perceived by families and the general public. And the media is a very powerful player when it comes to educating citizens and shaping public opinion” (par.