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Critiquing Child Advocacy Plans.

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Critiquing Child Advocacy Plans

Child, Family, Community and Culture-ECH-325
July 3. 2013

Critiquing Child Advocacy Plans While talking to the local school district administrator of the elementary school and the director of the pre-k in the Arizona school system, I was informed that anyone that has reason to believe that a child is being harmed in any way, such as physically, mentally or affected by neglect or abuse must report these cases to the local law enforcement agency and to the Department of Protective Services. It is the responsibility of ever member of the school staff to report any suspected abuse to their superiors at the school district office. It doesn’t matter how small the problem may be to the staff member it is part of their responsibility to provide their students with a safe environment and protection. If the staff doesn’t report any suspected abuse they can be sent to jail or fined. If a student comes to any staff member and reports sexual abuse that has taken place, it is not considered hearsay, and it is considered admissible in court. This will only hold up in court if I am the first adult the child has told this story to. If a report is made in good faith, any member of the staff will have legal protection and their identity will be kept confidential. This means that I have taken actions without intending to hurt anyone. The district administrator and director has informed me that they have had experienced where they had to call CPS. They informed me that it is a terrible sight when CPS has to interview any child that may be a victim of abuse because the child doesn’t understand why some strange person is questioning them about their family members or the their life at home and wanting them to discuss what happen to them in detail about the incident.
In Arizona schools, the school staff members are required to take a child abuse training course. The Arizona Child Protective Services (CPS) requires that anyone that has a reason to believe there is an abused child, has the obligation to report the crime. “Anyone can call CPS if she feels that a child is endangered” ("Arizona child protective services - Bing", n.d.). “However, under Arizona's Abuse Reporting Law, it is actually a crime for professionals such as doctors, nurses and teachers to not make a report to CPS or the police if they have reason to believe that a child is being harmed” ("Arizona child protective services - Bing", n.d., p.). I believe that teachers are on the list of professionals because they are the ones that spend more time with the children than the parents do and while the children are in the teachers care it is their responsibility to make sure they are safe from harm.
The school district that I live in is called Maricopa County it covers the area of Phoenix Arizona and all the surrounding towns like Glendale, Scottsdale, Tonopah, Buckeye and many other small towns. There are many agencies that work with the school programs, that the school district can help the students as well as the parents get help to receive services like food, shelter, clothes, medical, as well as supervision and education. There are also programs that offer psychiatric help and counseling help. The school district also helps students with learning disabilities and special needs.
My school districts advocacy plans regarding children appear to be thorough, but they can always gain more knowledge when it comes to being advocates for their students. I say that they can improve because I know of one case in the pre-k class where a child had bed bugs, and the teacher informed me, that unless it was causing a disruption in the child’s learning behavior, there was nothing that could be done, because it was a personal family choice not to get rid of the bed bugs. In my opinion, if the child is sitting in their seat itching and scratching all day, how can the child concentrate on his/her work in the class? I feel that the child should have been sent home until the family received medical attention to get rid of the bed bugs, and then allowed to return to class. I have also been informed that it is the same thought about head lice, they can’t send the student home, they can send a note home to the parents telling them about the head lice but it is considered a personal family matter if they get rid of them or not. I feel that the school is not looking out for the student’s best welfare with these two scenarios. Something should be done to resolve this issue, so that the children are not sitting in class being miserable because of the itching. There is also the fact that with head lice and bed bugs they can be passed from one person to another, which in turn can cause the other students to feel uncomfortable. Neither of these cases is healthy for the children involved because it can also cause infection from scratching the skin so often which appears to me to be a medical issue that should be taken care of. Other than these two scenarios I believe the school staff is being good advocates for the children that attend the schools in Maricopa County.

References
Arizona child protective services - Bing. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bing.com/search?q=arizona+child+protective+services&FORM=PERNSB&PC=PE06

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