The media highlights an overburdened system with one tragic story after another. Child welfare workers are carrying caseloads that are overwhelming. Most abusive adults never go to jail. Many children bounce around from shelters, to group homes, to foster homes, and maybe onto adoption. As adults few system youth go onto college; some end up in jail or homeless.
So much has been said about the child welfare system it almost makes a person wonder, exactly what more can be done to help abused and neglected children? The research is not very impressive. Maybe social service professionals have yet to find a method that is most effective, but certainly something must change.
Research indicates child welfare is in disarray. As a result, there’s a need for an alternative system that no longer focuses on providing care just for children. The existing system should redirect its energies to rehabilitate abusive and neglectful adults; when adults fail at treatment mandates – why not send them to jail? When child welfare professionals have enough evidence to remove children from homes, isn’t it reasonable to mandate treatment for adults? And if that fails, why not ask the adults to support non-compliance in front of the criminal court?
You are about to learn about an innovative model that addresses some of the difficulties facing the child welfare system. The following pages explain how the “adult welfare system” functions. A diagrammed model of adult welfare is introduced; the five phases are briefly explained, and finally a power point slide show is presented that offers brief notes used for public discussions on the adult welfare model.
Here are some probing considerations: Why don’t we treat families who are wrapped up in the dynamics of neglect and abuse – the whole family? Is it fair to remove children from abusive homes while simultaneously letting the abusers stay in the home? If the adults are at fault, let’s hold them accountable. Abusers can either get treatment or go to jail – it’s that simple. Too harsh? Probably not any more harsh than removing children from a home, without requiring some kind of adult treatment. The innovative adult welfare system proposes to keep the children in their natural home while the parents get help. That’s right, keep the kids at home.
If you work in social services, work in child welfare, or provide supportive services to families, this website may be of interest to you.
For more information on Adult Welfare concepts and presentations: Kurt LaRose MSW LCSW
| ADULT WELFARE SLIDE SHOW | CHANGING FL LAW – TALKING POINTS & RESEARCH (48) |
Website Built & Designed by Kurt LaRose, BA, MSW, LCSW, CHT
©2003-2012, Kurt LaRose, Tallahassee, Florida 32303—850.545.2886
NOTE: This page was originally published in 2003; some updates to the site have been made since the original published date,
however, the state child welfare system, Florida law, and improved care suggestions may be partially/entirely outdated.