Child maltreatment may be common among African households who have voluntarily or forcefully immigrated to the UK due to grounds such as tribal wars, poorness and political convulsion in their state of beginning. Available research grounds tends to propose that black African kids in life in the UK are over-represented in the kid protection system. It is against this background of over-representation of black African households in the kid protection system, which has prompted research workers, writers, policy shapers and educationalist to set about a figure of surveies analyzing child maltreatment among African households populating in the UK, so as to understand and determine the causes of this unacceptable behavior and its effects on societal work pattern. Many recent research work show that civilization and faith are the most pertinent factors that influence and form the parenting accomplishments and behaviors of African households. This culturally-oriented attack of raising kids by African households, though widely acceptable within the African community could be one of many grounds why many black African households are alleged to mistreat their kids, and doing societal workers to look into and even take these kids into local authorization attention.
Bernard & A ; Gupta ( 2006 ) survey found that black African kids and households are more likely than white households to be drawn into the kid protection system on the footing of built-in differences in beliefs and child-rearing patterns. With the rise in multi-cultural influences on the lives of many black African households populating in the UK, it is peculiarly of import to switch focal point from culturally-centred behaviors onto poverty-centred behaviors. Where literature be, non many research work on kid maltreatment instances among African households populating in the UK have truly considered the lay waste toing consequence of poorness on parenting behaviors, which is a requirement for proper kid upbringing.
Many African kids viewed under the Children Act 1989, may be classified as kids in demand as their parents struggle to supply them with equal child-care demands, and non seen to be intentionally doing injury to these kids. Poverty is strongly linked with studies of maltreatment and disregard and a important figure of black African households and kids live far below the poorness line. Arguably if societal workers develop a Fuller apprehension of the consequence of poorness on rearing behavior of African households, it may restrict many unneeded intercessions which draw black African kids into the kid protection system. African households populating in poorness are ever leery of societal workers who lack the apprehension of their values and their manner of raising kids and hence do negative opinion about their manner of rearing kids. This negative perceptual experience of societal work pattern by African households and kids populating in the UK strain evidences for misgiving and apprehensiveness and do working with such households a major challenge for societal workers. Therefore the poorness position of African households populating in the UK is an of import factor to be considered by societal workers working on kid maltreatment instances with African households. As explained by Bernard & A ; Gupta ( 2006 ) , black African kids and their households are more likely than white households to be subjected to unneeded societal work intercessions and hence are over-represented on the kid protection registry under the class of hapless parenting behavior. However, black African households are besides under-represented in having preventive supports such as lodging demands, fiscal benefits that is required to turn to any household demands and better kids public assistance. For many old ages societal work intercessions with black African households and kids alleged of kid maltreatment instances have been a controversial subject.
On the contrary Singh ( 2006 ) maintains the position that African households and their entrenched cultural and societal perceptual experiences of rearing behavior is hard to understand in the context of modern-day societal work pattern and hence societal workers may step in unnecessarily in such households. The possible effects of this misinterpretation among societal workers working with black African households could take to unneeded probe of these households under the kid protection system and finally the kids may be admitted to local authorization attention. Sometimes societal workers may waver to do intercession into child maltreatment instances with black African households due to hapless apprehension of whether certain parenting behaviors are truly an maltreatment or non ( Bernard & A ; Gupta, 2006 ) . This misconception may ensue into inappropriate or no intercession by societal workers working with black kids who are at hazard of important injury, and kids may go on to be harmed or even decease. This has been highlighted by the tragic deceases of two African kids: Victoria Climbi & A ; eacute ; ( Laming, 2003 ) and the immature male child known as Adam, whose trunk was found drifting in the River Thames ( Sale, 2005 ) .
Bernard & A ; Gupta ( 2006 ) found in their research work that bulk of black African households who are populating in the UK as a consequence of war, poorness, and tribal lawlessnesss in their place states have trouble non merely how to accommodate to the western civilization they find themselves but how they may be viewed by societal workers involved in kid attention. Most societal work professionals working with black African households tend non to appreciate the poorness background of such households and would experience justified to do negative opinions ensuing into misgiving and detachment from both parties. Although the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families ( Department of Health, 2000 ) places a demand on societal workers to see households ‘ backgrounds and cultural positions when covering with instances of kid maltreatment.
The issue of poorness among many black African households populating in the UK is a ambitious issue for many societal work professionals responsible for safeguarding and protecting vulnerable kids from maltreatment, as it impact how parents raise their kids. Furthermore, as explained by Korbin ( 2004 ) , troubles in societal work intercession in kid maltreatment instances may originate, because the procedures involved in kid abuse appraisal may be complex and parental behaviors may non be the same in different civilizations and socio-economic scenes.
In position of this perceptual experience, Platt ( 2005 ) states that ‘child maltreatment within cultural minority, which include Africans, can put on the line pigeonholing this cultural minority as deficient, therefore furthering pathological point of view of African household relationships ‘ . This raises the inquiry of what type of societal work intercession demand to be deployed by societal workers working with black African households populating in economic poorness so that vulnerable kids are to the full protected, and non merely pulling these kids into the kid protection system. This professional quandary among societal workers possess a major challenge and hence, calls for a new position in footings of accomplishments, cognition, preparation and conceptual tools to assist separate between the manners of rearing inherent in African households populating in poorness which is non needfully harmful to the kids, but at the same clip safeguarding and protecting kids from rearing behaviors that put kids at important hazard.
The thesis built its theoretical model on societal work theory, policy and pattern and uses cardinal conceptual model from the socio-contextual attacks to intercession. The chief accent of this thesis looks at the available literature on black African households involved in the kid protection system, concentrating on specific poverty-related parenting patterns that give rise to issues of kid maltreatment. The methodological analysis for this work was chiefly qualitative and the available literature has been obtained from primary and secondary beginnings.
The thesis touches on assorted issues sing how societal work professionals need to comprehend and manage kid abuse instances among black African households, who are populating in poorness and therefore to supply appropriate intercessions that would assist these households provide equal child-care to their kids.
The first chapter provides literature on black African kids and the kid protection system. Chapter two provides a treatment on the increased complexness of societal work intercession in kid maltreatment instances affecting black African households populating in poorness. It continues to analyze how poorness could cultivate a peculiar parenting behaviors that impact on the quality of kids upbringing which, could be pulling black African kids populating in the UK into the kid protection sphere. Then chapter three draws on statute laws and policies modulating societal work patterns in the UK. It besides examines modern-day societal work pattern in kid maltreatment instances among African households. Chapter four critical analyse the assorted methods of intercessions available to societal workers when working with black African households. Finally chapter five discusses the deductions of societal work intercession made by societal work professionals among African households populating in poorness.
Black AFRICAN CHILDREN AND CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEMS
The prevalence of Black kids on kid protection systems
Many kids are drawn into kid protection system for many different grounds. Majority of kids goes through distressing and damaging experiences, which may include physical, emotional, sexual maltreatment and disregard. Some kids come under the kid protection system as their households are hapless and could non look after them decently. Sing the kid protection system and black African households, Bernard & A ; Gupta ( 2006 ) have critically analysed the grounds on the disproportional representation of black African households on the kid protection registry. A research by Gibbon et Al ( 1995 ) shows that black African households are over represented than white households in the kid protection system on the footing of physical maltreatment of kids.
Brophy et Al ( 2003 ) survey expressed a contrary position, that the proportion of minority cultural households represented on the kid protection registry shows that many involved several allegations about parental behavior. A similar research conducted by Gibbons & A ; Wilding ( 1995 ) found out that referrals made by societal workers of black African kids onto the kid protection registry was due to unequal supervising of kids by their parents who have taken employment to enable them run into any fiscal duties and to supply equal child-care for their kids. Therefore, Chand ( 2000 ) commented that ‘different child-rearing methods used in different civilizations mean that as an foreigner, understanding what is the norm and what is aberrant is debatable… and seeking to separate the hazards in one household from the another, societal workers may fall back on moral opinions ‘ ( p.72 )
The important factor is the challenges societal workers encounter when measuring and doing determinations about African kids and households who lives in chronic poorness compared to the bulk of the population life above the poorness line. Social workers need to see these households ‘ fiscal backgrounds and their cultural individuality, which determines manner of rearing patterns that are paramount in proper kid upbringing. However, some African households hide under the umbrella of poorness and societal exclusion to bring down physical and emotional injury on their kids. If societal workers understand the causes of parental behavioral forms of African households, it is obvious that such households would non be unneeded intervened and where necessary kids would be adequately safeguarded and protected from injury.
The challenges societal work practicians experience when developing assessment procedures as defined in Climbie Inquiry ( Laming, 2003 ) is important to the safety and protection of black kids whose households have immigrated into the UK. Sometimes societal workers may be stereotype as racialist and ethnocentric, as they do non factor poverty-related parental behavior of African households in the appraisal procedure, and this strain misgiving among the societal workers and the households taking to many African households non decently investigated of kid maltreatment ( Chand, 2000 ) . It is clear from Alibhai-Brown ( 2005 ) survey that societal workers need non be subconsciously hysteria to follow inaccurate and capturing media coverage of alleged kid maltreatment within African communities. Under the Government ‘s ‘Every Child Matters ‘ policy, societal workers first precedence is to guarantee kids live with their households if it is best to make so, but what is the usual tendency, kids are normally removed from their hapless parents and given to rich households because they can non afford to efficaciously provide for the kid demands. However, parents have the ultimate right to convey up their ain kids unless they fail in their parenting responsibilities to supply equal attention for their kids and as a consequence doing important injury to them.
Most African parents do non intentionally harm their kids but poorness creates all kinds of jobs for these households such as parents enduring from depression, emphasis, and seeking to get by with public force per unit area makes households fall abruptly of what is expected of them as parents. Despite the above averment, it is the duty of the societal services or local governments to make the enabling environment for the proviso of public assistance demands to households so that these households can supply appropriate attention for kids.
Following Baby P study kids ‘s services watchdog, Ofsted, reported that a reappraisal of 173 serious instances in April 2009, found that societal workers and other bureaus, failed to move fleetly to set kids enduring from physical and neglect maltreatment onto the kid protection registry. Ofsted besides identified certain hapless societal work patterns such as the failure of societal services workers to place and describe marks of maltreatment, hapless recording and communicating, and limited cognition and application of basic policies and processs. However, recent publication in the The Times ( 2009 ) sees Local Government Association knocking ofsted for ‘feeding peoples frights ‘ and excessively concerned with protecting its repute and concentrating on processs and processes instead than the public assistance of kids ‘ ( p.15 ) .
Harmonizing to the Department for Education and Skills ( 2006b ) statistical informations a important proportion of black African kids are on the kid protection registry. A figure of surveies tend to back up the position that households of these kids lives in poorness and battle to raise their kids to the criterion set up by authorities statute law. However, this available information creates a confusing image about the representation of black African households in relation to the grounds of poverty-related parental behavior which in ways tend to propose a similar form of black African over-representation on the kid protection registry.
Therefore it is hard to state whether societal services are run intoing the docket set up by the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families ( Department of Health, 2000 ) which places on societal workers the duty to see households ‘ backgrounds and cultural positions when covering with instances of kid maltreatment. All these research workers perchance link this over-representation of black African kids on the kid protection registry to little or hapless apprehension of socio-economic backgrounds of these households populating in the UK.
Thoburn et Al. ‘s ( 2005 ) reappraisal of the nature and results of kid public assistance services for black kids concluded that African kids are about twice every bit likely to be looked after than the white bulk kids in the population as a whole, which so suggest, that some of these kids will be accommodated under subdivision 20 of the 1989 Children Act, by virtuousness of being raised by households populating in poorness. Arguably, there are a figure of contributory factors which could be perceived as of import in understanding the engagement of black African households with societal work bureaus and the attendant over-representation of their kids in the kid protection system. Broadly talking poorness and hapless parental patterns are linked to child maltreatment and disregard by households who are responsible for looking after these kids. Therefore the poorness experienced by many African households and kids may be resolved through a more preventive public assistance services instead than child protection services.
The authorities statute laws and policies
The most relevant statute law in the UK that aims to protect kids from maltreatment and injury is the Children Act ( 1989 ) , of which Section 47 expects local governments to do questions into instances where they have sensible cause to surmise that a kid is enduring or likely to endure important injury and Section 17 makes proviso for a kid to be assessed with a position to the proviso of services to kids in demand. Therefore there are two unequivocal aims of the Children Act ( 1989 ) , the kid protection focal point and the kid public assistance focal point. This statute law is capable to how local governments interpret kid maltreatment, so that in the class of their responsibilities determinations taken are unfastened and consistent without any failures. However, many black African kids referred to societal services under the kid protection system may non needfully be enduring from any injury or disregard in position of their poorness fortunes ( Chand, 2000 ) . Harmonizing to Platt ( 2005 ) , the Audit Commission proposal to switch from the popular investigational work usage by societal workers to a household support services, was due to legion weaknesss identified by many other authorities organic structures. This air current of alteration for societal work pattern was accepted by the Department of Health, after analyzing a research happening which was summarised in the publication, Child Protection: Messages from Research ( Department of Health, 1995 ) . On the contrary position, Parton ( 1996 ) criticized the recommendations of Messages from Research because they ignored the basic socio-economic world for many households.
From Platt ( 2005 ) position point it is arguable that the kid protection system was pulling excessively many instances unsuitably on the kid protection registry. It is obvious from available informations, the kid protection system seemed to accomplish every bit much as could be expected in footings of forestalling uninterrupted maltreatment of vulnerable kids. However, the aims set out by Section 47 of Children Act 1989, have instead a devastating and disunion consequence on households and in many cases create uncertainness for black African kids and households. It ‘s hence expected of societal work professionals to develop the several accomplishments and cognition to distinguish between proper child-rearing patterns and improper behavior that flaunt acceptable norms and values in the black African community.
The Department of Health ( 1995 ) emphasises that societal work professionals need to trust on assorted steps since kid maltreatment is non an absolute construct and most household behaviors have to be seen in context before determinations of maltreatment are made ( Chand 2000, p. 70 ) . Although child protection societal workers in the UK are trained to follow the official counsel as set out in the DOH ( 1988 ) Protecting Children: A usher for Social Workers set abouting a Comprehensive Appraisal, this usher has some restrictions when used on black African households. Against this background, the quality of societal work appraisal and, therefore intercession procedure used by societal workers seem to pigeonhole black African households as the indexs of kid maltreatment. The cardinal quandary confronting societal work today is the mode and extent to which they should prosecute in societal public assistance policy instead than in intercession processs and procedures, and more so to airt its attempts chiefly to the hapless and destitute in society ( Karger and Hernandez, 2004 ) .
From the 1990s there have been proactive and sustained attempt on behalf of the UK authorities to develop and advance statute law and policies, which challenge the influence of a kid protection civilization on direction and societal work pattern, which notably are perceived as falsifying the balance of service proviso to kids and households ( Spratt & A ; Callan, ) . On the contrary, Pringle ( 1998 ) commented that household support schemes may concentrate on the generalisation of responses compared with kid protection processs that target existent nature of the alleged maltreatment. Cleaver and Walker ( 2004 ) realised in their research, that the execution of this switch from kid protection to child public assistance services by societal work bureaus can hold negative and hard impact on the authorities Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. In recent past the authorities has seen a singular decrease in the figure of kids drawn into the kid protection system which commends local governments ‘ attempt to accomplish public presentation marks.
Spratt and Callan ( 2004 ) criticized the decreases in figure of kids on the kid protection registry, as been achieved mostly due to modern administration and steps to advance conformity with public presentation marks. Although these accomplishments are commendable, it merely serves to befog implicit in tensenesss in the relationship between the province and the household ( Platt, 2005 ) .
Harmonizing to Spratt & A ; Callan ( 2004 ) , the UK authorities in recent times have re-emphasised the primary responsibilities of local governments within the footings of the 1989 Children Act to concentrate more on safeguarding kids by proviso of kids demands. The Department of Health estimations four million kids populating in England are vulnerable to harm or pretermit, due to their households populating far below the poorness line, yet merely 300-400,000 of these kids are known to societal services at any given clip ( DoH 2001, p. 23-24 ) . In their survey of households whose kids were at hazard of enduring emotional maltreatment and disregard, Thoburn et Al. ( 2000 ) found that in 98 per cent of such instances the households were characterized by populating in state of affairss of utmost poorness. Given the strong correlativity between poorness and the demand for proviso of public services ( Department of Health, 2000 ) it is obvious that societal services in the UK merely help a little proportion of vulnerable kids who become members of that subdivision, kids in demand as a effect of their contact with societal workers. This would propose that a more effectual manner of assisting vulnerable kids, peculiarly black African kids would be through the authorities increasing resources to local governments, increasing the figure of societal workers and reshaping the societal security system instead than extremely selective and meager proviso of services through local authorization societal work sections ( Parton 1997, P. ) .
Social workers can be been seen as a force for conformance and are often criticized for moving more in the involvements of the Government so as to run into marks than in the involvements of clients who need help from them. Therefore the theoretical account or attack societal workers may follow in position of all the authorities statute laws and policies, when working with black African kids and households populating in utmost poorness will find whether a household receives a kid protection service or kid public assistance service.