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HSSW 504 Child Protection Issues in Given Case Scenario Assessment 2 Answer

HSSW 504 Assignment 2 


Weight: 30%

Must Complete: Yes

Word Length: 2500 words

Notes: Written assessment

This assessment relates to:
Learning Outcomes 1-5

Read the following scenario and answer the question below:

Greta (5 y/o) and Banjo (2 y/o) live in a small rural town in NSW with their mother, Sophie (30y/0), and their father, Dave (32 y/o). Sophie works behind the bar in one of the hotels on a casual basis and Dave is unemployed. He used to work at the local abattoir, but it closed down eight months ago owing to the draught and subsequent economic down turn. He is now currently receiving Centrelink payments and is looking for work, although there are currently few employment opportunities in the town where they live.

From the age of about six, Dave and his siblings grew up in foster care because his mother and stepfather used illicit substances and could not care for their children. From the age of about ten, Sophie grew up with her aunt because her mother and father were killed in a car crash.

Banjo has Down Syndrome. He requires special medical attention and also receives a service from an NGO that specialises in assisting families to care for children with a disability. Sophie and her aunt, who lives nearby have, for the most part, worked together in order to meet Banjo’s care needs.

Sophie and Dave own their own home, which they bought when Greta was born after years of saving for the deposit. Sophie would love to be a stay at home mum, but they simply can’t afford it because they still have to pay off a large mortgage. For Dave, losing his job has been a big blow. He has felt as if he has let Sophie and his family down by not being able to provide for them and being unemployed has made him feel like a failure and that his life is not worth anything. To cope, he started drinking heavily and smoking cannabis in order to deal with the intense feelings of dread feels in relation to his life.

Sophie has coped with this situation by talking on additional work at the hotel, including evening shifts, and trying to maintain a positive outlook. She has had to deal with so much grief and loss in her life, and she reasoned, if she could deal with that, she could deal with anything. She has been determined to maintain a positive outlook on life.

But Dave’s behaviour began to get her down. She was trying to make things better by working and he was just making it worse by spending her hard-earned money on alcohol and cannabis. He did look after the children when she was at work and she had never questioned whether or not they were safe in his care. However, all this changed about six months months ago when she came home after working all day and Dave was smoking cannabis with his friend Joe. The house was a mess, the dishes were dirty, the washing had not been done, the children were filthy and hungry and Banjo had soiled himself. Sophie hit the roof and there was big argument between she and Dave. Sophie threatened to leave Dave if he did not change his ways.

Following this, Dave tried the best he could to keep the household together whilst Sophie was at work. Every so often, however, he would drink and smoke cannabis. The cycle was the same, Sophie would come home from work to find the house to be a mess and the children would be hungry and dirty and Dave would have been drinking. She would shout and scream at Dave and there would be a big argument.

During this period, neighbours had made reports to the Department of Family and Community Services about the safety and wellbeing of the two children: one report said that the children had been left unsupervised in the home, another said that there was a bad smell coming from the backyard, another said that violent outbursts and children screaming could be heard coming from the house and that this was a regular occurrence. Another report was received from Banjo’s disability care worker, who had reported concerns about Banjo’s health in general: that he appeared to be losing weight and that he had missed several important appointments with the paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital.

Things came to a head one evening when Sophie got home to find Dave drunk and stoned again. She was so angry that she swore at Dave saying he was ‘a complete looser and a failure as a father and husband’. Dave saw red and grabbed a chair and threw it at Sophie. The chair landed on Greta’s head and caused a big lump to appear. Sophie was mortified and took Greta straight to the local hospital.

How should the state respond to this situation?

In your answer, consider the following structure as a guide. Please note, this is only a guide to assist you address the different parts in the marking criteria.

  1. Introduction (200 words)
  2. Describe the child protection issues present in this situation (200 words)
  3. Describe the social factors that may be influencing this situation (200 words)
  4. Describe the legal and organisational mandate that governs the state’s response to this situation (200 words)
  5. Critically examine past child protection policies by considering how they have impacted children and families and, in some cases whole communities (700 words)
  6. Propose an ethical response to this situation (300)
  7. Critically evaluate possible interventions that would in-keeping with the principles in S9 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (500 words)
  8. Conclusion (200 words)

Writing an Essay 

Essays are common in academic assessment. They can vary in length and style, but always conform to the logical structure of introduction, body and conclusion. For assistance in writing essays, you can contact the Academic Skills Office at UNE. For information about the specific style used on social work see Writing an Essay for Social Work.


APA is the required referencing style for this unit so these guidelines should be followed in this assignment.


1.0 Introduction

In this particular context, the case scenario itself indicates a lack of child safety issues that might generate problems in their growth. Not only in this case scenario but in the real world children are facing the same problem because issues such as like parents busy work schedule where they cannot give proper time to their children, that affects building up their personality. Besides, as kids are staying alone in the house, safety issues arise. For example, when Sophie was busy working in the bar, and Dave was depressed and busy with his intoxication, at that moment kids were alone and nobody was there to take care of them. They were still hungry and filthy. It was Dave's responsibility to look after the children, but he was so busy with his alcohol that he forgot about his kid's safety and health. In Dave and Sophie's case, things are a little different. Due to a pandemic situation, Dave lost his job and he became depressed and as the earnings stopped Sophie had to take more responsibility to earn more, that's why she became busier. Day by day things was getting worse and the most unexpected incident happened.

In this particular essay, a complete focus has been given on the case scenario and based on that child protection issues, the influence of the social factors that are influencing the mentioned situation of the case scenario has been described in detail. Apart from that, the organisational mandate and the legal aspects have also been explained in order to state the response to the situation mentioned in the case scenario. A critical examination of the child protection policies that could consider the entire case and can provide safety not only to that child but to the community and the family’s well being have also been discussed followed by ethical responses and possible interventions that could keep the principles in S9 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. 

2. Child protection issues present in the situation: 

As discussed earlier, Child Safety issues are boosting day by day. Child Protection means parents should protect their children from various types of violence, abuse and exploitation. More than 1 million children worldwide are living their life in a detention camp. Approximately 250 million child labourers are found worldwide (Briere et al., 2017). It is necessary to protect their child for a good future. 40 million children below 15 y/o are found abused due to neglect, social care and need health (Saini et al., 2019). In this case breakdown in family and absence is the main cause of child amusement. Child Protection is a special concern in emergency situations and humanitarian crises. As mentioned Banjo, Dave's son was suffering from Down syndrome that is why he needed special care. An NGO was taking care of Banjo and his family because of his disability. His disability was an issue itself. Another issue was their financial situation, due to job losses Dave became very upset and started drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. Due to this drunkenness, he became careless to his family. On the other hand, Sophie became too busy in her work as she was the only earning member at that time because Dave lost his job. This made their children lonely. The situation not only affected their child safety but also affected their personal life, health, mental and physical growth and other care-related aspects.

3. Social factors that may be influencing the situation: 

There are lots of social factors responsible for child safety and abuse. Poor schooling, parental unemployment, lack of parental care due to extremely busy work schedule, lack of access to medical care, violent neighbourhood, lack of social support, stressful life events all those reasons can be the cause of child abuse or child protection. In this particular situation, social factors played an important role. Day by day Dave's intoxication limit was increased and Sophie couldn't tolerate this anymore, and that caused big arguments. Their arguments, loud voices and violence started affecting the neighbours. They were worried about the safety of those two children. In the meantime, neighbours were found to make several reports to the department of family and community services. One report said that both Dave and Sophie left their children in unsupervised condition whereas the other report stated that a foul smell was coming from the backyard. Someone from the neighbour also reported that screaming of children and parents used to come from the use which caused a disturbance in the surrounding community and it was a regular incident. The children care worker of Banjo announced that Banjo was falling weight badly as he missed his paediatrician’s appointments several times as both of his parents failed to take him to the doctor. Those reports prove social interference that brought a negative impact on those two children. Instead of raising hands to take care of those children neighbours got busy in watching the scenes and making reports which really influences the situation more. 

4. Legal and organisational mandate that governs the state’s response to the situation:

In NSW mandatory reporting is governed by the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. 

Mandatory reporting is the regulation for selected classes’ people to report doubted child abuse and neglect to government authorities (Van der Kolk, 2017).

A mandatory reporter delivers the following services, wholly or partly, to children as part of their paid or professional work:

  • Health care: Registered medical practitioners, professional, midwives, occupational therapists, speech therapists, general practice nurses, psychologists, dentists and other healthcare personnel working in solo or practising or in public or private health practices.
  • Welfare: Social workers, psychologists, caseworkers and youth workers.
  • Educational: Teachers, counsellors, principles (Afifi et al., 2016)
  • Children service: Children's care worker, family daycare providers, home-based care provider
  • Residential service: Refugee workers
  • Law enforcement: Police

5. Past child protection policies that made an impact on children, families and the entire community:

As defined by several practitioners, researchers and commentators, there are so many obstacles facing the child protection system and have made an impact on children, their families and the entire community (Seddighi et al., 2019).

  • Almost the whole resources are being utilized to do assessment and investigation, with a constant lack of treatment and prevention (O’Leary et al., 2019).
  • It is noticed that in most of the jurisdiction there have been escalating numbers of notifications, which is leading to huge pressure on the organization’s capability to effectively evaluate and execute them.
  • Families that fall under the legal child assurance framework (ex: families where neglecting the children on the other hand child abusing is noticed) and the families where there are no such substances but have a high level of basic needs received very less or no service to solve their needs (Slayter & Jensen, 2019).
  • Numbers of families have been concerned about various information, most of the time for various unique sorts of youngster abuse (terrible mistreatment). Specialists now recognize the aggregated suffering from continuous exposure to lessen the levels of maltreatment or disregard, regardless of whether a solo incident does not fulfil the norms for legal participation.
  • There are comparatively few substances as collated with the tally of warnings, which is bringing about ineffective utilization of assets and enormous quantities of families are being drawn into the child security framework unnecessarily (Seddighi et al., 2019).
  • It is noticed that there is very low confidence among the practitioners, which is prompting expanded degrees of staff turnover and a perceptible gap in the administrations.
  • The more the number of youngsters in out-of-home care is illustrating the additionally expanding levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties, with lesser assets that are accessible to address their needs. To be specific, there is rising trouble in retaining and recruiting aid care providers (Featherstone et al., 2019).
  • Planning and advancement are being driven by open public requests, regularly coming in light from the media attention on particular extreme occurrences, for example, kids deaths or disclosure of a pedophile chain, instead of responding to the actual needs of the greater part of feeble children. Surely, even a portion of the solicitations has begun to see that child security frameworks are unreasonably revolved around examination instead of avoidance. 
  • There is a lack of mechanisms for multidisciplinary and interagency work, which is leading to a lack of planning, fragmentation and substandard communication.
  • Time periods and methods for the examination of sexual maltreatment allegations are not unsurprising with data about the manner by which kids make divergence of sexual maltreatment (e.g., Alaggia and Kirsenbaum, 2005), which may explain partially the reducing extent of all the things considered to legal child security administrations in Australia that can portray the sexual mistreatment (Bywaters et al., 2016). individuals may choose not to advise exactly when they acknowledge the outcome will be counterproductive, furthermore, children security employees may rather register the harm sort as ‘mental maltreatment’ instead of more exhausting to illustrate ‘sexual maltreatment’ (Nemeroff, 2016). This creates entanglements for crossing frameworks, like the Criminal Courts and the Family Court, who rely upon joint police investigations or child protection (Straus, 2017).
  • It is likewise seen that there is a scarcity of trust in the legal youngster protection administration by the overall population, clients, government officials and the media, which is prompting analysis of these administrations in a daily basis, sustaining restructures and a prudent culture that moreover undermining their capability to be engaged in positive constructive work with the families (Bartlett et al., 2017).
  • Children have a little input in themselves to make a decision about their interference in the system (Bywaters et al., 2016).

6. The ethical response to the situation: 

From the ethical state of mind, it can be seen that it was not a forever parenting issue. Dave and Sophie used to take care of their children properly. When Dave lost his job he became depressed and there were very few job opportunities left for anyone. He was trying to find a new job but he didn't get it. After eight months of unemployment, he became hopeless and started drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis and the problem was started right from there. On the other hand, Sophie was able to take care of her children after her work but to earn higher she had to work more, and that time the children were Dave's responsibility. Due to his heavy intoxication, he was unable to protect his children. Sophie tried to cope up with the situation but in that time social factors affected them too, and when Sophie got angry and told Dave that he failed to become a responsible father, and then the things were gone worse. Greta got injured by the chair,

which was thrown by Dave towards Sophie.

It is very much obvious that anger makes a person fool. If Dave listened to Sophie carefully and understood the necessity of taking care of his children, that incident could never have happened. For the sake of the children, they should not be shouted at each other and should not make arguments as these impacts negatively in a child’s mental health and personality development. Dave should have been more careful about Banjo because he was already suffering from a disability like Down syndrome. He should stop drinking and smoking, he should give more time to his children and should start finding a new job. 

Children's rights to protection from violence, neglect and abuse are clearly mentioned out in international law (Read et al., 2018). The valid laws of the religious bodies and in the domestic laws of most if not all provinces in the world.

7. Possible interventions with the principles in S9 of the Children and Young Persons (care and protection) Act 1998

The possible provisions of this essay are meant to give guidance and direction in the management of this act. They do not make or confer on any individual, any entitlement or right enforceable at law (Bywaters et al., 2018).

  • Greta and Banjo are able to frame their own perspectives on the issue that they are concerned about their security, government assistance and well-being, they have the chance to communicate their perspectives wholeheartedly and those perspectives will get due weight according to the developmental capability of them and the conditions.
  • The decisions and actions that are to be made under this act (whether by administrative or by legal process) which noticeably affects them, the record must be taken of the disability, religion, sexuality, language and culture of Greta and Banjo, and if applicable with parental obligation (Ferguson, 2017).
  • To decide what move is expected to make (whether administrative or legal process) in order to protect them from harm, the course which is to be maintained must be the negligible intrusive mediation in their lives and their family that is consistent with the prime worry to shield Greta and Banjo from hurt and progress their turn of events (Hamilton et al., 2018).
  • On the off chance If Greta and Banjo are briefly or permanently denied of their family condition or are not permitted to remain in that condition to their greatest advantage, they are qualified to get extraordinary help and security from New South Wales state, and moreover, their language, identity, name, religious and cultural bonds will remain safeguarded as much as possible (Palacios et al., 2019).
  • If they are put in out-of-home-care, the game plan ought to be done in an ideal manner, to make sure the arrangement of a stable, safe, nurturing and secure condition, recognizing their condition and that, the lesser the age of the kid, the more noteworthy the necessity for settling on early choices to a changeless situation (Miragoli et al., 2018).
  • If they are put in out-of-home-care, they are allowed a nurturing, stable, safe and secure condition. Except if it is not clashing with their eventual benefits, and considering their desires will incorporate the guardianship including kin, birth or new parents, peers, companions, family, more distant and community (Hamilton et al., 2018).
  • On the off chance that they are put in out-of-home-care, the lasting position standards are to mentor all the decisions and activities to be made under this demonstration (whether by administrative or legal process) in regards to the perpetual arrangement of Greta and Banjo.

8. Conclusion

There are many families present worldwide like Dave and Sophie's family. Every day millions of children are injured like Greta and the number is still increasing day by day. Parents like Dave and Sophie are also increasing daily. The present situation of employment is one of the biggest reasons for family breakdown. Earning money is important but to earn money parents should not forget that they should spend quality time with their kids.

Parents need to pay attention to the signs that are present in the children that tend to deliver with their behaviour. They should listen to everything their children say. Many children die because of negligence, abuse and exploitation. Every child should get the same rights to live independent, happy, and nonviolent environment. The failure in children protection is a global crisis. The impact of failure in child protection can be devastating. Children from worldwide want more support to grow themselves free from violence, within caring and safe families. Parents should take care of the children well, cheers them, always tries to motivate them, and should promote their talents and abilities. A caring and happy family can protect the child from being abused. Climate change, migration, urbanization are all increasing children's vulnerability, and the government does not investigate enough resources in building and protecting extensive child protection systems.

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