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16 Year Old For Rape, Is He Criminally Responsible? (Part 2)

Straight Talk
by Nimfa L. Estrellado

First, everyone agrees that departments of social services tend to be understaffed, over worked, under paid, under educated, and lacking in resources. This is not an attempt at finger pointing, but it is to say that there are problems that need to be solved. We must find ways to reduce these rates. We can start by referring children to treatment, rather than incarceration.

It is worth examining how increased services at the child protection level may reduce violence among young people and adults.

How can public agencies that serve children and families be improved? There have been several studies and proposals.

Over the years, caseloads have been reduced and this needs to continue. Stepped up recruitment of new foster parents who are highly qualified to care for special needs children. Increased screening of foster parents and their ability to care for children. Stringent monitoring of children in homes with ongoing domestic violence. More involvement of law enforcement investigative departments when children are harmed or killed by caregivers. Services to abusive and neglectful families is increased with coordination among agencies providing treatment. Increased funding of these agencies. Use of highly qualified child and family experts to determine child and family needs. Case workers will have at least a Masters degree in a social work, psychology, or mental health related field to have direct contact with a family or be responsible for managing a case. Ongoing education and consultation on family functioning, counseling, child development, trauma, sexual offending, violence, case management, substance abuse, forensics, and other topics.

Some countries have combined the departments of social and juvenile services because the agencies serve the same families and interventions for youth should always involve families. Combining these two agencies, may make the focus more toward families than individual youth. Systemic changes may help youth and families also be more successful.

We’ve all experienced the shock of watching stories like these on TV, but have you ever wondered why some seemingly ordinary people...Turn to p/3

commit violent crimes? Would you be amazed to know that many of them could have been predicted and prevented if someone had seen the warning signs and intervened before it was too late? Would you like to know how you can protect your children from becoming either the victims or perpetrators of a violent crime? Do you need some way to measure youth violence risk?

With so much news around child rape and murder and the exploitation of the powerless by the powerful, how do parents try to explain these events to their young children? It’s important for children to be steadfast in their beliefs. Everyone has inputs coming in from different directions.


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