I was first introduced to a child welfare experience through my practicum at OU Children’s Hospital. The hospital has a high rate of mom’s experiencing late pre-natal care during their pregnancy which is in indicator of drug abuse during pregnancy. When the doctor’s learn that a pregnant mom has had zero to no pre-natal care, it is questioned and staff try to find out why and this involves the hospital social workers. The hospital social workers would visit with the mom and provide necessary resources for mom and baby. However, the doctors do test the baby’s meconium which is the specimen within the umbilical cord to see if the baby has any traces of drugs within its system through the mom. If the lab results come back positive, the hospital social workers are notified to make a referral to DHS. The difference between what the hospital social workers do compared to DHS is that DHS makes the decision if the baby is safe to discharge with mom.
From reading the chapter, one historical policy that stuck out to me was The Maternal and Infancy Act of 1921 reminded me of my experience at practicum. This act was formed to decrease the number of deaths on infants and moms. Another historical policy pertaining to child welfare results to child protection services. This is due to the main providers (parents) of the child no longer being the child’s protector due to indications of abuse. Therefore, the Cruelty to Children was formed to protect young children from abused households.
Current aspects of current child welfare are federal funding for child welfare rapidly growing (Table 15.2) and the study of maltreated children. The growing numbers of children being maltreated is a growing concern. The federal Administration of Children and Families help to set guidelines of maltreated children.