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Introduction

Child protection is the safeguarding of children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect. It involves identifying signs of potential harm and making them correct for the sake of support and services. It will protect the child and hold those who have harmed them accountable (Assink et al., 2019). In order, to protect the child important is to implement the professional practices by which recognition and reporting are going to be done in the right manner. It is noteworthy that child development requires certifying a secure environment for all developing children who attend the programs. It is said that developing a secure environment wherein young people don't fear sentimental or physical harm enables children to develop and learn (Hood et al., 2020). Knowledge of risk management activities or strategies requires being in the limelight of the program planning to offer a secure atmosphere for the people. The essay is aiming to critically analyse the benefits and limitations of using risk assessment and risk management approaches while working with children in the context of child protection (Dettlaff & Boyd, 2020). Moreover, it will discuss the definition of risk, risk factors, risk assessment, and risk management. Besides, it will provide suggestions on how to use risk effectively and morally in the context of child protection.

Risk factors

Risk factors mean attributes at the community, family, biological, cultural, and other levels which preceded and are linked with a greater probability of unfavourable outcomes. These are the conditions that might contribute to a risk happening. The risk factors for child abuse indicate the measurable events which surge the likelihood that a family might possess poor consequences in the forthcoming (Storey, 2020). Risk and risk factor is the primary concern that needs to be considered. It will lead to insight that what are the factor seen due to which the child's safety is compromised. One of the risk factors is violence among children that is seen in the home and outer environment. Children who face domestic violence or are victims of domestic violence are at serious risk of long-term mental and physical health problems (Feely & Bosk 2021). The second factor is an unnatural environment that is impacting the child's ability to develop intellectual, social and emotional growth. It will be requiring making the environment safe for the children that are encouraging their proper development. The third factor is alcohol and drug abuse which is putting the children's life at risk. It will involve physical and emotional abuse due to which the children's life is getting impacted for the long term. Lastly, removal from the family is another factor that makes the children suffer from acute stress like panic-like episodes, insomnia and poor eating and self-care. To overcome the risk and risk factors important is to perform the risk assessment.

There are multiple factors have been seen that are acting positively and negatively. The positive factor will involve professional support in which the counsellor can take participation. It will help in understanding the root cause of the problem due to which the child's health is getting impacted. The second is about financial aid to protect the child that is making the child capable to deal with any kind of risk (Lonne et al., 2021). In Australia, state and territory governments are responsible for statutory child protection. It supports vulnerable children who have been or are at risk of being abused. The organization will be able to provide adequate support and protection in terms of counselling and financial support. It is responsible for coordinating the care and protection of children and young people. On the other hand, there are negative factors and also lies that are self-fulfilling prophecies that is the process of lies through which a false expectation leads to its confirmations (McNellan et al., 2022). The second factor is the poor self-image that is making an individual to overall poor sense of self-value. It will make the child feel incompetent, unloved and inadequate. Lastly, poor health is seen due to family conditions and external factors that make the child struggle. To overcome the negative factors, risk management needs to be designed. It will allow the management to be provided for the wellness of the child by which long-lasting protection is going will be given. All these strategies are making the inclination toward the best practices in terms of child care (Sidebotham, 2021).

Risk assessment

Risk assessment indicates the recognition of hazards that might unfavourably influence a company's capability to carry out business. Such assessments assist recognize such intrinsic corporate risks and offer measures, procedures, and regulators to lessen the influence of such risks on functioning with any child (World Health Organization, 2021). Risk management indicates the system of individuals, procedures, and techniques which facilitate a company to develop goals synchronized with the risks and values. It is further defined as a procedure that enables individual risk activities and overall risks to be known and handled actively, refining the success by reducing threats by increasing prospects and outcomes. It is emphasized in predicting what may not go to schedule and putting in place practices to lessen uncertainty to a bearable level. It means the development of an organized strategy in a company that permits the scheduling of approaches and for monitoring and reviewing responsibility and assistance for the workforce (de Araújo Lima et al., 2020). Risk assessment is a meso-level process where the identification of risk takes place. On the other hand, risk management is about the process of macro-level that make the assessment, analysis and provide strategies.

There is a certain set of advantages has been seen with the implementation of risk assessment and management. The major motive for the use of risk assessment strategies in child protection is to figure out the intensity of the abuse or neglect to arbitrate and secure children from future harm. Risk assessment considers numerous risk factors affecting a child namely environmental, family, parental, and more, and evaluates them together to generate an entire risk overview. The risk assessment can investigate the introduction of schemes like child protection plans and assess the refinements to the child protection put forward by such schemes (Kirk, 2019). There are mainly two approaches to risk assessment in the context of child protection named as consensus-based; and actuarial, each of which has pros and cons. talking about consensus-based, these approaches are flexible to adapt to native distinctions and conventions. Moreover, they focus on an all-inclusive assessment of risk by incorporating clinical judgment. Its well-established instruments might refine the constancy and preciseness of data gathering. Talking about actuarial approaches, it can be said that they possess the strength to offer the most compatible and objective care for children and families. Such approaches have great levels of reliability and feasibility. These can foresee clinical choices by offering an accurate, analytic form of reasoning. They incline to use fewer forces consensus-based to emphasize the most vital and influential factors, and utilize different variables for diverse sorts of child abuse (McNellan et al., 2022).

Risk management

Risk management is regarding not only investigating the strength for risk to a child in current times or the forthcoming but also regarding the decision-making, scheduling, and actions that are needed to lessen the risks and stop harm from happening in the future. Risk management entails the development of rules and processes to recognize and lessen risk and certifying such actions are understood and followed. Risk management strategies are useful for recognizing an individual’s duty of care to secure a child from abuse (Liel et al., 2020). The risk management strategy allows the professional to include a plan to manage any practice or inaction by an individual in the company who fails to adhere to any rules. Besides, such an approach is deemed part of a constant quality improvement procedure for the company. This strategy enables professionals to develop an action plan to remove the threats to child protection that were identified. The risk management strategies help take into account the self-esteem of every child and offer them environments that nurture their development. It is considered a technique that can be used to refine child-safe practices. The risk management strategies help to decline the number of children who are sufferers of abuse. Besides, such strategies can underpin the development of rules, processes, and codes of conduct by which child safety is going to be ensured (Hall et al., 2020). 

The recommendations are as follows that is encouraging child protection. Effective risk management approaches require to be well-understood; transparent; and diversified to consider the enhanced level of risk linked with the definite nature of certain actions and the susceptibility of specific groups. Risk management approaches should be considered to certify child is secure in the physical and virtual setting (Hamilton & Maslen, 2022). Organizations must try to certify all their physical environments wherein collaborations with children might be monitored by other adults. There should be a development of a safety plan which directs the actions to be taken by child welfare agencies while offering services and assistance to the family. When the risk assessment explores a risk to child protection, the agency can develop a safety plan with the family. Such plans are deemed temporary, and short-run measures made to regulate critical and instant risks to a child's safety. Moreover, such plans are intended to address unsecured situations to certify the child's instant protection (Vial, 2021). A risk matrix must be used to help case workforces and other professionals to know what extent of risk a child might be exposed to and the contributing susceptibility, risk, and protective forces. In case a child is supposed to be at higher risk of harm, an all-inclusive assessment should be carried out quickly (Jiang et al., 2021). The entire stakeholders including children, parents, families, workforces, social workers, volunteers, and others are required to adhere to the Child Safe Code of Conduct and must be accountable to uphold the integrity of the acts that are there (Tozdan et al., 2019). Also, they are needed to place the safety and well-being of children and young individuals above the considerations (Goldman et al., 2020).

Conclusion:

Child protection is a safeguarding process that is focusing on the children and is likely to overcome their suffering. It will be requiring the idea of the positive and negative factors that will be supporting the designing of the interventions. There are several acts meant for this purpose that is providing care, protection, maintenance and welfare to children. To eliminate the risk factors and increase the wellness of the children, important is to perform the risk assessment and implement its management. It is concluded from the above that child protection activities entail the decision-making about the care, well-being, and protection of a child. Moreover, it concludes that such choices might entail an assessment of the prospective extent of risk of child abuse, or neglect. It is further inferred that risk assessment is deemed a vital element of child protection practices and notifies decisions at entire levels of child safety service delivery. Besides, it infers that there exist both strengths and weaknesses of the risk assessment and risk management strategies. It is also concluded that the motive of the risk assessment strategies in the context of child protection is to figure out the extremity of child abuse to intervene and secure the child from forthcoming harm. It is inferred further that the momentous problem in risk assessment of child protection is the irregularities in the decision-making practices of child safety service workforces. In conclusion, it is seen that there are internal and external factor lies that impacts child protection. To overcome the factors, preventive measures need to be applied that is managing the risk. The positive influence will be seen in the context of improving physical and mental well-being. There are some recommendations lies by which the practices can be elevated in favour of child protection. All these practices will benefit the health and development of a child.

References:

Assink, M., van der Put, C. E., Meeuwsen, M. W., de Jong, N. M., Oort, F. J., Stams, G. J. J., & Hoeve, M. (2019). Risk factors for child sexual abuse victimization: A meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 145(5), 459.

de Araújo Lima, P. F., Crema, M., & Verbano, C. (2020). Risk management in SMEs: A systematic literature review and future directions. European Management Journal, 38(1), 78-94.

De La Sablonnière-Griffin, M., Collin-Vézina, D., Esposito, T., & Dion, J. (2023). A Longitudinal Study to Better Understand Child Protection Intervention for First Nations Children. First Peoples Child & Family Review18(1), 97-120.

Dettlaff, A. J., & Boyd, R. (2020). Racial disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system: Why do they exist, and what can be done to address them?. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 692(1), 253-274.

Feely, M., & Bosk, E. A. (2021). That which is essential has been made invisible: The need to bring a structural risk perspective to reduce racial disproportionality in child welfare. Race and social problems, 13(1), 49-62.

Goldman, P. S., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Bradford, B., Christopoulos, A., Ken, P. L. A., Cuthbert, C., ... & Sonuga-Barke, E. J. (2020). Institutionalisation and deinstitutionalisation of children 2: policy and practice recommendations for global, national, and local actors. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 4(8), 606-633.

Hall, C., Slembrouck, S., & Sarangi, S. (2020). Language practices in social work: Categorisation and accountability in child welfare. Routledge.

Hamilton, S. L., & Maslen, S. (2022). Redressing ‘unwinnable battles’: Towards institutional justice capital in Australian child protection. Journal of Sociology58(4), 535-553.

Hood, R., Gorin, S., Goldacre, A., Muleya, W., & Bywaters, P. (2020). Exploring drivers of demand for child protection services in an English local authority. Child & Family Social Work, 25(3), 657-664.

Jiang, H. H., Cai, L. M., Hu, G. C., Wen, H. H., Luo, J., Xu, H. Q., & Chen, L. G. (2021). An integrated exploration on health risk assessment quantification of potentially hazardous elements in soils from the perspective of sources. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 208, 111489.

Kirk, H. (2019). Prediction versus management models relevant to risk assessment: The importance of legal decision-making context. Clinical Forensic Psychology and Law, 347-359.

Liel, C., Ulrich, S. M., Lorenz, S., Eickhorst, A., Fluke, J., & Walper, S. (2020). Risk factors for child abuse, neglect and exposure to intimate partner violence in early childhood: Findings in a representative cross-sectional sample in Germany. Child abuse & neglect, 106, 104487.

Lonne, B., Russ, E., Harrison, C., Morley, L., Harries, M., Robertson, S., ... & Smith, J. (2021). The “Front Door” to Child Protection—Issues and Innovations. International journal on child maltreatment: research, policy and practice, 3, 351-367.

McNellan, C. R., Gibbs, D. J., Knobel, A. S., & Putnam-Hornstein, E. (2022). The evidence base for risk assessment tools used in US child protection investigations: a systematic scoping review. Child Abuse & Neglect, 134, 105887.

Sidebotham, P. (2021). The Challenges of Working with Child Abuse and Neglect: Barriers to Disclosure and Intervention, Adverse Outcomes, and Perplexing Presentations.

Storey, J. E. (2020). Risk factors for elder abuse and neglect: A review of the literature. Aggression and violent behavior, 50, 101339.

Tozdan, S., Briken, P., & Dekker, A. (2019). Uncovering female child sexual offenders—Needs and challenges for practice and research. Journal of clinical medicine8(3), 401.

Vial, A. (2021). Safety and risk assessment in child welfare: Moving forward. Universiteit van Amsterdam.

World Health Organization. (2021). Strategic toolkit for assessing risks: a comprehensive toolkit for all-hazards health emergency risk assessment.

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