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Enhance the Skills and Knowledge That a Social Worker Should Have

Essay by review  •  March 12, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,958 Words (12 Pages)  •  820 Views

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Case Study

The purpose of a case study paper in our opinion is to examine and enhance the skills and knowledge that a social worker should have. It also allows us the opportunity to work with different individuals and utilize our budding skills of analytical thinking, as it is easier to ascertain where our own personal values, attitudes and beliefs may be affecting our judgment. Remaining neutral can be difficult, especially when the best interests of a child are involved, as for the most part, we especially may not want to cause any undue distress to the child. We chose the case of Sarah. Sarah is a young girl who has been in the care of Children's Aid for a while now, and it has now been decided that she will no longer be able to live with her parents.

Throughout this paper we will explain the type of ward ship she will be under and why. We will discuss the rights that will be altered due to her change in custody status, such as access and visitation, appeals, education, health and physical welfare and consent. To conclude we will explain and describe the ways in which we would go about helping this young girl.

Due to the very few facts that are available in this case with this case, which are simply that she is currently in care and has been for some time and will not be returning to live with her parents, we began by what we felt was an important first step, which was understanding how a determination of this nature is made and what are our options.

Although we do not know her age, circumstances or even how long she has been in care, we can assume that the Social Worker assigned to her case has done her job thoroughly and properly and it is an assumption on which we based our plan on. When Sarah was first apprehended into care for reasons of child protection, as this is the most common reason, as customary and is the overall goal of Children's Aid, a treatment plan was put in place to assist this family in re-uniting. We can also assume that Sarah has been under Society ward ship during this time as this is the type of ward ship that is temporary - up to 12 months. It is Amy's opinion, based on her understanding of the mission statement of Children's Aid and knowing a family currently undergoing this very situation with Children's' Aid, that families are given more than one chance to work out their shortcomings and resolve the issues that resulted in their child being apprehended.

We proceeded on the basis that an assessment of this family's progress has been done and that a formal assessment has been ordered and completed (Article 54 page 57) by the social worker involved with this case, whereby he or she has also completed "Society's Plan for the Child" ( Article 56 , page 60) . Our thoroughly trained social worker from Cambrian College, would have followed all necessary steps (tests, assessments, appointments, etc, so that she can now proceed to court to attain an "order where the child is in need of protection" to be granted custody of this child. The Child and Family Services Act states that "Where the courts finds that the child is in need of protection and is satisfied that intervention through a court order is necessary to protect the child in the future, the court shall make one of the following orders, in the best interest of the child." (p.61, Section 57) In court, this social worker will be seeking Crown ward ship, as this is the permanent form of custody awarded to Children's Aid and is only done when it has been proven, by way of evidence, that returning home to her parents is detrimental to her, as is the case with Sarah (Child and Family Services Act, p.61).

Once Sarah becomes crown ward several rights and responsibilities in reference to her care will be set in motion. The first and most important one would be to determine who gets to say yeah or nay to decisions concerning all aspects of her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. To sum up the area of consent for crown wards it states in child and services act, that once we have been awarded custody of the child, the person in charge of him or her becomes the director to the agency she is involved with. If Sarah is under 12, the age whereby the child has rights to self determination, then the social worker and director make the call. For example is Sarah wants to go to church, the social worker can make this decision as it is not a life altering one typically, if Sarah is 12, she makes the distinction and decision of where and when she wants to go. If however, Sarah is 12 and decides she wants to visit her mother or father who has been abusing her, the director of the agency will step in and prevent, as decisions are based on maintaining her well being.

Access and visitation will also change and, in the situation of crown ward ship, visitation becomes rather sticky. (Access page 65) Only those whose relationship to the child will enhance and is meaningful and as well will not cause her placement to become unstable, they will be granted access rights once they go through the process of applying to the court. Anyone can apply such as foster parents, extended family, and friends of the family. If the child is being adopted out as society's plan for the child then there is no access period. The same rule applies if the abuse was sadistic (Article _59 (2) (3)) pages 67 & 68 but it is ultimately the courts decision. If she is 16, she has the right to decide whether to see the individual or not.

Education and medical care are treated rather the same, which is to say that the child gets the best possible of both. In reference to education, Sarah would receive an education based on her aptitude and abilities. If she decides she wants to go to college, then she is entitled to that and if she is remaining in a long term care foster home, she may even remain there until she turns 23. Children's Aid would also seek restitution by way of monetary gain with the parents if at all possible (Article page ) the only loophole in this scenario of best interests is that of medical care. If for example Sarah was taken for reasons of failing to provide medical care, then the director is not allowed to authorize any medical procedures until she has brought the matter to a judge to prove it is life saving. It is then the judge who awards the procedure. Apart from that, the director acts as a parent and gives authorization as a parent would.

Placement is another area of care that may change. It really does depend on her circumstances presently. We are left to assume, that Sarah is currently in a foster home or institution. We went on the basis that she is in foster care as the case study did not indicate



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