Purdue University Global
Cj102 Criminology 1
This essay will discuss potential issues that may emerge from a city’s department of job and family services. I will also discuss whether the policy that they are putting into effect will be negative or positive for society. Furthermore, I will state whether the social learning theory in planning is solicited fittingly to this event.
Recently, Anytown’s Department of Job and Family Services enforced a new policy strictly addressed to child endangerment. If one’s household has more then one wrongdoing pertaining to child abuse, domestic violence, and or drug/alcohol equivalent offenses that have been committed by either parent/guardian or caregiver, the child/children will be removed from the household. This can cause some ethical issues depending on the circumstances of the household. This new policy does go against one’s parental right, but in some cases, parents don’t make the right decisions for their children. If it’s a two-parent household, and only one parent has more then two documented offenses, removing the child could go against the law-biding parents right. It would be un-ethical to remove the child/children from both parents if only one parent is the issue. The ethical thing to do would be to remove the parent for the 6-month period and go from there.
This policy I believe can be both positive and negative. Let’s start with the positives. If it’s a situation where the child is being physically/mentally abused by their parent/guardian or caregiver, removing them would be the best option. According to criminologist, several theories indicate that children who experience abuse as children tend to become abusers as they get older. For example, the social learning theory. The social learning theory states that “criminal behavior is learned through human interaction” ( Siegel,2019). The Department of Job and Family Services made refences to the social learning theory as support as they put in place this new policy. Studies show that when kids are introduced to this abuse early on, they tend to pick up those tendencies. Another positive from this policy is it can stop the child from any more harm. There are several incidents where children were left in an un-fit household and ended up seriously injured or even dead. Removing a child from an unfit household also removed the child from multiple forms of abuse, such as, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, family violence and neglect. Furthermore, children’s parents could be drug addicts or even homeless. Homeless children experience significant negative social and health consequences. Children may get bullied at school for the condition they are, and which can lead to a child’s depression and other mental illnesses.
Now for the negatives. Let’s start off with the social bond theory. The social bond theory, or the social control theory is the belief that delinquency is formed when the four key elements to maintain a bond to society are broken. The four key elements are, attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief, ( Siegel,2019). Attachment is a person’s sensitivity to and interest in others. This key element may be the most important when pertaining to this policy. Travis Hirschi, the founder of this theory, views parents, peers, and one’s community/school as the important social foundation in which a person should maintain bonds. A child’s bond with their parents is the most important bond. Removing a child from his/her home disturbs this theory. Taking a child away from their family, as I stated in my previous paragraph can be un-ethical depending on the circumstances and the situation. It can also make a situation worse and could actually lead to more violence and confuse the child. Growing up away from their family could lead them into depression. This policy doesn’t just remove the child if the child was harmed but if the parents have personal issues, like if they’re using drugs, they’ll remove the child even if the child wasn’t harmed. If a child is placed into foster care it could they could be abused as opposed to being home with their drug addict, but loving parents. Children could also be taken from their cultural identity. For example, if a child is Muslim, and they’re taken from their family and placed in a catholic foster home, the family may convert them to their beliefs. Another issue that could result from this is, once removed the child may not have the proper support to help them. I’ve seen foster parents only want foster kids just for the money and they aren’t there to offer the child moral support or help them get over the abuse. Sometimes children are taken from one abusive home and put in another one that could even be worse. Having a foster kid can also be difficult for the foster parent. They now have to deal with the child’s behavior. Children may become violent when introduced to new surroundings. In cases of sexual abuse, children, or people in general tend to relive the trauma and some act out on it. You could be doing something as simple as giving the child a hug and it could trigger something causing them to go into crisis.
A child could even be placed far away from their families, which could make it hard for them to visit if it’s approved for the families to visit the child. I currently work in a residential facility for foster kids, and we have some kids whose parents live out of state and can only visit them a few times a year. Some parents never come. It takes an emotional toll on kids. A lot of times the kids from my job feel that maybe their parents don’t love them because of this, and they have issues connecting and making friends with other kids. They are sacred to build friendships because they aren’t use to stability. They are use to everyone coming in and out of their lives.
I believe the Department of Job and Family Services did not misinterpret or misapply the social learning theory when planning and implementing the policy. In their case they stated “ aggressive children have parents who use aggressive when dealing with others. For example, the children of wife batterers are more likely to use aggressive tactics themselves than children in the general population, especially if the victims( their mothers ) suffer psychological stress from the abuse” ( Siegel,2019,pg. 148). This is true. The social learning theory states that children basically learn criminal behavior through human interaction. So children seeing domestic violence in their homes often become abusers themselves or tend to have aggressive behavior in society.
In conclusion, the policy put in motion by the Department of Job and Family Services has some pro’s and con’s to it. Although it does have some ethical issue’s and moral wrongs, I guess it all depends on welfare of the child and whats best for them.