Social work has been termed as more than a job it is a calling. It draws from one’s emotions and humanity, without this social work would be just another job. My choice of social work as a career stems from my desire to give back to my community and others. I desire to ensure that things in my community are done in a satisfying way. My interest lies mainly in the field of child advocacy. I work in an elementary school where we rely heavily on social workers and counselors when children need help.
I have already completed two degrees in, an associate degree in early childhood, and a bachelors degree in sociology. My personal and professional experiences have exposed me to the world of social work. Though I have grown up in a privileged home, I ventured into marriage and motherhood early, whereupon the marriage fell apart. unemployment and the lack of professional education, led me to work and reside in substandard residences while working factory jobs, and studying for my degree. The experiences I was exposed to created in me a burning desire to help people who find themselves faced by many social injustices.
My interest has been in the area of, children with behavior problems. I have been working in an elementary school that specializes in children with behavior problems. The dedication of social workers and counselors assigned to the children has inspired me to pursue this area of study. Most of the behavior problems that I have encountered stem from neglect, fear of rejection and trauma, and though the social workers and counselors do their best some of the children continue being more difficult. The social workers seem overwhelmed by the number of children and their problems, yet they have dedicated themselves to sincerely helping them.
Sometimes circumstances have forced me to become involved in some cases especially those in my classes. Despite the professional training that I have already received, I feel that I require more knowledge in order to be able to assist properly. This is because when dealing with children, lack of knowledge may cause intervention by the adult to either worsen the problem or cause the child more trauma. Knowledge and training allow the intervention to be more fruitful and productive.
I have organized support groups for parents and guardians of the children in my class. Sometimes it is easy to forget that while helping the child is great, the parents require to be equipped with the knowledge on how to deal with the child. The meetings also offer a forum for parents to meet and exchange advice. The meetings have become so helpful that social workers and counselors in the area use them to train parents on the basic skills of dealing with a difficult child. The meetings are also a place to interact with other parents and guardians.
Though it is not commonly discussed, many parents are facing difficulties because of their children’s behavior problems. An estimated 3million American children are reported by their parents and guardians as having emotional and behavioral tendencies that cause interference with their learning and social life. Despite the statistics the society does not seem to understand the problem and prefer to ignore its causes.
Though a number of children with behavior problems may just be acting out for attention, many others are traumatized and emotionally bruised. Ignoring the symptoms of trauma, cause the problem to worsen and traumatizes the child more. Understanding that children do not just develop behavioral problems will be a first step towards uprooting the problem in society.
Many American families are being pulled apart today either by divorce, drugs and other forms of addiction, the result is that a generation of children is growing apart from either one parent or in some cases both parents. Children from single parent homes and those in foster care are the most likely to develop behavior problems. Parents and guardians fail to address the problems associated with the separation immediately and indicate that being in such a situation does not define the child’s worth until it is too late and the child has already developed problems.
Children are the heritage of a community and a nation. If they are not protected then, the society loses a great resource and investment. Children who have suffer from low self-esteem and behavior problems develop to be unproductive adults. Behavior problems also disrupt the families, forcing parents to pull their attention away from the other children and focus on the difficult child. The family’s and school routine are disrupted by the behavior of the child, and this can lead to parents, teachers and other adults becoming very frustrated.
Children with behavior problems can expose themselves to danger. When the behavioral problem escalates, children can endanger themselves and others in an attempt to seek for help. They can also take up risky behaviors such as abuse of drugs, gambling and alcohol taking or joining gangs and engaging in criminal activities.
In the elementary school where I teach, there has been a case of a very difficult young boy which has frustrated the teachers and social workers. The child has recently undergone very difficult times, which have finally led to him being separated from his parents and put in foster care. It is while here that the child has become uncontrollable, he is rude and disrespectful. Sometimes while in class, he can get so frustrated that he cuts up his work and starts screaming. The foster parents, teachers, counselors and social workers have tried everything, yet he seems not to be improving.
I believe that we are all concentrating on the behavior problem instead of getting to the cause of the problem. If we could gain access to the family, and allow them to discuss openly what caused the child to be taken to foster care, then maybe some progress can be made and the child ultimately ‘saved’.
The time has come for American parents and guardians to take behavioral and emotional problems seriously. Identifying behavior problems early and allowing for intervention can allow for easy healing and restoration for both the child and the parents.Addressing the problem, its nature and causes with both the child and the parents or guardians allows for the child to understand and express his feelings and anxiety. Teachers and other adults should be sensitive to any emotional or physical change in a child. children exhibiting symptoms of emotional trauma or developing behavior problems should be referred to the social workers and counselors for further investigation.
Children with behavior problems are looking for someone sincere to listen and understand them. Social work gives the children a medium of voicing their troubles and a way to be heard. I intend to ensure that parents and other adults understand what causes behavior problems in children, and how to handle children with behavior problems. In the next five years together with other children specialists I will have found the answer to how children with behavior problems can be helped, and how the problem ca be identified in its early stages.
Brenda Dubois And Karla Miley (2010). Social Work: An Empowering Profession, 7th
Ed. Prentice Hall.