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Social work assessment in child care - Essay Example

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This essay will critically evaluate the current transformation in the way child care law or social policy,and social work assessment,describes vulnerable children and young people.It will clearly show that social policy has transformed from being prevailed by medical theories that vulnerable children…
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Social work assessment in child care
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Social work assessment in child care

This essay will critically evaluate the current transformation in the way child care law or social policy,and social work assessment,describes vulnerable children and young people.It will clearly show that social policy has transformed from being prevailed by medical theories that vulnerable children, such as those with disabilities, are certainly ‘in need’ and ‘passive’. It implies that this transformation has been oriented by ‘social inclusion’ and ‘social model’ concepts that vulnerable children are citizens, have rights, and should be completely given access to cultural and educational activities. Particularly, it claims that ‘social inclusion’ and ‘social model’ perceptions of social policy are imperfect for they characterise vulnerable children as an exclusive group, working out the difference and challenges in their lives. It proposes that in order for a successful policy agenda for the economic and social discrimination of vulnerable children to be created, social policy should adopt as its frame of reference the stories of vulnerable children. By making use of ethnographic data to verify the intricate and unstable character of the lives of vulnerable children, this essay suggests a multi-dimensional model of social policy. Fundamental to this model are steps that contribute to the creation of discourse, interaction, and empowerment between children, parents, social work professionals, peer group, and young people. This essay will review the social and medical ‘perspectives’ that have reinforced social policy intended for vulnerable children. It proposes that both ‘perspectives’ are based on concepts of dependency and disability. By demonstrating that there is nothing certain about the lives of vulnerable children, this essay wants to propose that we can alter the ways that we make sense of and address ‘vulnerability’ in social policy and social work assessment. This essay will explain the ‘necessity’ for policymakers to take action in response to the complicated and unstable nature of the lives of vulnerable children. Social Work Practice in Child Care Social policy and child care law during the 1970s until the 1990s was frequently criticised for being governed by medical concepts of ‘vulnerability’ or ‘disability’ (Lewis, Gewirtz & Clarke 2000). Prevailing perspectives on the issue of vulnerability within social work and social policy individualised the subject area of ‘vulnerability’ (ibid, p. 82). This model, referred to as ‘the medical model’, was rejected by scholars in the practice of disability studies, who situated the issue of vulnerability in structural discrimination and social relations, rather than in individual disabilities of mind or body (Maluccio, Pine & Tracy 2002). Jenny Morris (1997 as cited in Hendrick 2005), in her study of vulnerable children in care, refuted the ‘medical model’ for overlooking the perspective of children’s lives: There is no room here for recognising that the inability of a 15 year old, who has speech difficulties as a result of cerebral palsy, to be part of the local teenage sub-culture is created by the pre-judicial attitudes and inaccessible environments which restrict his or her activities, rather than cerebral palsy or speech difficulties in themselves (ibid, p. 323). She believed that the medical perspective reduced the experiences of children to biological accounts. Thereby, she thought it overlooked the likelihood that the emotional or social difficulties of vulnerable children may stem from the absence of love, security, interaction and inspiration that are needed by children, and to which they may not have access (Hendrick 2005). Morris (1997 as cited in Hendrick 2005) claims that “to assume that all communication, mobility and behavioural difficulties are solely caused by impairment is further to disable those children by failing to recognise their actual experiences” (ibid, p. 324). Assumptions within social work ... Read More
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