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The role of child protection social workers in improving the lives of children in juvenile centers

Discuss about the Child Protection and Juvenile Justice.

A human service organization is an organization that meets the needs of the human race by having a well-defined knowledge base, concentrating on the prevention of the issue and improving the quality of life that people live Banks(2016). For these organizations to achieve their goals, they need social workers who are given the task of helping individuals and families to deal with the problems they are facing and thus improve their life. According to Pugh.2016 there are so many organizations that try as much as possible to improve the life of people and each organization has its own field of practice that it is best suited. This essay focuses on an organization whose main purpose is improving the lives of children who are under juvenile protection.

Children participation in crime and the high rates of neglect and drug abuse have a strong bond with the juvenile system. Many children involved in crime have a history of neglect or abuse by their parents. Children between the ages of 10-17 are usually detained in the juvenile or youth justice system which emphasize on diversion and rehabilitation in order to reduce the number of crimes. In the recent years, there has been an increase in the number of children and young people being taken to detention centers Fanning(2018). Child can be taken to a juvenile center if the child has no safe or stable home to go to, family violence or there is no adult who can meet the bail requirements of the child.

Many young children in the justice system have had contact with the set child protection services all over the world (Andrew Day). The juvenile system has been put in place specifically for children under the age of 18 who are accused of taking part in criminal acts. The children cannot be locked together with the grownups and thus a juvenile system has been put in place. The juvenile system is still similar to that of adults as it involves the arrest, detention, petitions, attending hearings, the adjudication, placement, probation and reentry. Through the juvenile system a child is able to develop skills that will help in their future career.

 Different organizations have come up to protect the rights of children in the juvenile centers. These organizations make use of the child social worker to achieve their goals. The social worker performs different activities that assist the child and their families during the difficult moments. Some children are subjected to torture and their voice can only be heard through the help of organizations and institutions that monitor each situation.

Challenges faced by child protection social workers in working with culturally diverse clients

Centre for Children’s Law and Policy is an organization whose main mandate is to advocate for the rights, equality, dignity and creation of opportunities for children who are in the child welfare and justice system. Together with other stakeholders, they eliminate racial and ethnic differences in the juvenile system. This is done through training sessions that educate the staff, judges and even probation officers on topics relating to race, bias and creating opportunities for the youth.

It is also their responsibility to campaign for the improvement of the conditions in the juvenile justice system all over the country. A team of experts with adequate training are able to check the dangerous and inhumane conditions in the facilities that house the youth. They then help in the implementation of the best available practices that ensure the children are in a good living condition.CCLP, have a national campaign  of stopping solitary for kids whose main agenda is to stop solitary confinement of children.

Through the help of health facilities, CCLP are able to monitor the health and environmental  conditions  of the child and the place where they are housed. This ensures that each juvenile station is well equipped and follows all the necessary requirements. CCLP also tries to reduce the number of children who are being taken into custody.

In order for a person to work as a social worker with this organization, a number of skills are required to effectively perform the duty. One must be able to handle stress that arises from dealing with children and institutions offering the juvenile services. Workers usually face very devastating experiences when visiting some of the centres and it is thus necessary for one to be mentally strong. This is important in assisting one live a double life since carrying the stress to the outside world has a lot of consequences.

A child protection social worker meets many people while trying to champion for the rights and well-being of the children. It is thus necessary for them to know how to handle the different clientele they meet for easier management.

Organizations also need to look into the diversity of their clients their beliefs, expectations and values. For maintaining a good working environment with the culturally diverse clients, one needs to have a clear knowledge of their own cultural background, values and expectations that might end up determining how one operates with others. The cultural biases and prejudices should be completely avoided in order to carry out the job in the required manner.

The importance of cultural competence in social work

In order to reach out to many people with different cultural views, the organization provides linguistic support to everyone. This has been made possible by the provision of translation services enabling people to fully understand what the organization is all about. Radio podcasts and videos have also been made available thus making it easy for them to deal with people from different countries.

Cultural diverse clients pose a great challenge in ones work.  It is therefore necessary for an individual to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills through education. Through the education, it is very easy to address   the requirements of culturally diverse clients. Social workers need to assist their clients to learn their own cultural values and find a way in which the clients can apply this awareness in their life and that of the community.

It is the responsibility of a social worker to have respect for the client’s religious beliefs and values.  One should not judge others according to their religion but instead use what they have in common for the well- being of everyone.

Children in detention centers need to be given information in a language that they understand. This will help them become better members of the society as soon as they are released from the juvenile centers.  The CLLP provides education and training to the children in juvenile centers thus making them better members of the society in the future.

 Working with children might prove to be very difficult especially those that have been locked away. A social worker should therefore develop the best method of passing information without mentally harming the child. The child needs to feel loved and know that there is still a better life after being released form the juvenile centers.

It is the role of a child protection social worker to ensure that children are kept in their homes if it is the safest solution available or taken to a safer environment if they are at risk. One works with people from different cultures, religious beliefs and identities. In addition, this role requires one to work with many sectors such as the courts, health, police and community. T is therefore important for one to have the necessary resources and use them to assist the families that are living a stressful life in order to protect the child from any harm. A child protection social worker should also learn skills that help families adjust to life without their child.

Ethical issues faced by child protection social workers

A social worker meets new people from all corners of the world when trying to accomplish their goals to the community. Different communities of the world have different cultural values and thus social workers face potential ethical dilemmas when it comes to working with culturally diverse clients.

Cultural diversity can bring about ethical issues which might prove to be challenging for a child protection social worker. When dealing with a cultural diverse client, religious differences may set in since each person has a different religious view. It is therefore the responsibility of the social worker to ensure that no arguments arise by following the ethics of a social worker which are clearly spelt out. One should try and explain the importance and centrality of human relationship before engaging in any argument concerning religious issues

It is quite difficult to convince a person with a very staunch religious belief on what you think is right. This people may even refuse relief help as they think what is happening to them is something that was meant to be. Social workers should thus try to convince people according to what the different religions share in order to create understanding. One should not force what they think is right as this may end up resulting into chaos yet the intended purpose of the mission was to offer help. Social workers should exercise integrity in all their undertakings and treat people equally in line with the ethical principles that govern the social workers

According to Cole.2004 racism can be either overt and covert, personal and institutional, individual and intentional. Social workers often face this issue as they perform their day to day activities of helping the needy people in society. This greatly affects the attitude and morale of individuals in social work and sometimes may force some of them to live this field. A social worker is not supposed to act angrily in the case where one has been racially abused but act in a manner that shows professionalism... One can explain the importance of living together as one family as each individual in the world needs one another for the purpose of survival explaining this issue in a polite manner will go a long way in convincing a person who abuses people with reference to their race.

It is also important for a social worker to exercise integrity in all their doings. This will ensure that they serve the intended purpose and role. Advising the children in juvenile centers will play a key role in improving their morale while still locked. Their families can also be encouraged and proof of the child’s development given to them Parton(2018).In order to work with people from different cultural diversity, CCLP understands the importance of the knowledge, values and skills that support this The organization has fully understood the importance of human relationships and have applied different tactics to strengthen it.

The importance of integrity in social work

As a social worker, it is very important to follow the ethical values of the profession in order to effectively serve the clients. The social work code of ethics is based on six values:

  • Competence
  • Social justice
  • Integrity
  • Dignity and worth of the individual
  • Service
  • Importance and centrality of human relationships.

This ethics help a social worker cope with the difficulties that might arise in the field of work.

In conclusion, children under the juvenile system should be properly taken care of just like any other child in the world. All the requirements of the child should be provided regardless of whether they broke the law or not. It is thus the role of social workers, families, organizations and the government to ensure that children are given all the basic requirements even if they may have committed a serious crime. Parents have the task of ensuring that their child is well behaved by teaching them moral values required for a better life. By doing so, the number of children being taken to juvenile centers will significantly reduce and the government will use the funds invested in juvenile centers for development projects.

The community should also play a key role in educating children in order to reduce the number of crimes they indulge in. Organizations such as the CCLP have tried their level best to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children whether in juvenile centers or those with their families. This role is too big for them and therefore other stakeholders should provide a helping hand in protecting the children White(2017).


Banks, S.,2016. Everyday ethics in professional life: social work as ethics work. Ethics  And Social Welfare, 10(1), 35-52. doi: 10.1080/17496535.2015.1126623

Fanning, J.,2018. Understanding the Role of a Social Worker | Retrieved from

Malvaso, C., Delfabbro, P., & Day, A.,2017. The child protection and juvenile justice  nexus in Australia: A longitudinal examination of the relationship between maltreatment and offending. Child Abuse & Neglect, 64, 32-46. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.11.028

Maylea, C., & Hirsch, A.,2017. Social Workers as Collaborators? The Ethics of Working Within Australia’s Asylum System. Ethics And Social Welfare, 1-19. doi: 10.1080/17496535.2017.1310918

Parton, N.,2015. The Contemporary Politics of Child Protection: Part Two (the  BASPCAN Founder's Lecture 2015). Child Abuse Review, 25(1), 9-16. doi:    10.1002/car.2418

Pawar, M., Hugman, R., Alexandra, A., & Anscombe, A.,2017. Empowering social workers(1st ed.).

Pugh, S., & Subramony, M.,2016. Taking services seriously: New directions in services management theory and research. Human Resource Management Review, 26(1), 1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2015.09.001

White, C.,2017. Treatment Services in the Juvenile Justice System. Youth Violence And Juvenile Justice, 154120401772899. doi: 10.1177/1541204017728997

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