Ethics in Child Welfare: The Ramirez Family
July 10, 2002
The Ramirez Family
The child welfare system in the United States has been under scrutiny for decades. Every year law suits are filed in all 50 states due to unethical behavior of a caseworker, foster parent, or employee of a contract agency. The concerns evolved around the management of child protection services ignites strong emotions, and creates ethical tensions for all concerned parties. It is the duty of Child Protective Services to protect and act in the best interest of all children. However, on many occasions’ parents, family members, and community leaders doubt that the actions taken by the state are beneficial to the children that they represent.
The number of children being placed in protective care continues to fluctuate each year. According to the most current AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Report) Report, released in June 2011, there were approximately 408,425 children in the U. S. in foster care on September 30, 2010 (AFCARS, 2011). That is an amazing and startling number of children that have been placed in temporary care. It is great when a child can be placed in a loving home, when there are no suitable placements available with family members or friends. However, thousands of youth are being abused and neglected every day in foster homes and shelters across the United States. It is the dirty secret that many do not want to talk about. Due to the shortage and availability of good foster homes, many children are placed in institutional care facilities such as shelters or residential care on a bed for pay basis. Caseworkers are allowed to place a child in a shelter for a period of ninety days. After their time expires, the child has to be moved to a foster home or placed in another institutional facility. Many times if the caseworker is unable to place the child with a family member or in a...