Social Problem of Child Neglect amongst Low Income Families

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I am going to discuss child neglect amongst low-income families. Neglect is defined as, the failure to meet a child’s basic needs, which can include housing, food, clothing, education and access to adequate medical care. This is a social issue because poor children are more likely to repeat a grade, to be expelled or suspended from school, and to drop out of school, due to the lack of support in the house hold because parents are working crazy house to make ends meet or the parent is stressed and/or depressed due to financial status, etc.

Children from poor households are also more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions, including asthma, diabetes, hearing, vision and speech delays because not all parents can’t afford decent health care for their children. Not every parent who lives in poverty neglect their children. There are also many who do neglect their children who are not poor. The connection between child neglect and poverty can be explained in many ways. For instance, it is possible that experiencing poverty generates a lot of stress on a family, which in turn can leads to greater chances of abuse or neglect. Often people who live in poverty, simply do not have access to the resources they so desperately need. They also don’t have access to adequate and affordable child care. Which in turn makes a parent more vulnerable to neglect or even abusive their children.

I chose this topic because I come from a low-income family and although I was fortunate enough to have good parents, I knew many who were less fortunate. I have met many people and heard many stories of parents who would disappear for days leaving the eldest child responsible to the younger children. Poverty has a bigger impact on neglect than on physical abuse, though. Seeing those horror stories of parent who starve their child for weeks, or parent who don’t put their children’s needs first, either due to lack of resources or care. I grew up in low-income apartments for the better part of my childhood. No complaints there, we always made the best of what we had. But I was a very observant child and noticed everything that went on around me.

I would see the kid who had the tore up clothes and shoe, who often would skip lunch and sit in the corner, trying too hard to not make eye contact because they were embarrassed someone would notice. But I have also been that kid who worried if their parents would have enough money for dinner or would we be scrounging to “ghetto fix” something to eat, as my mother would say. I never noticed but a lot of the things I went through are considered neglect, like not going to the dentist for almost 10 years when I was a child.

I never knew why until I was an adult, but my mom said she never had the time to bring us or the money to pay for good dental insurance. We went to the primary care doctor because we had to, to get shots to attend school but that is it. We had some basic needs met due to my mom inability to afford dental but also, she told me when I was older that she had been sexually abused by her dentist while undergoing a dental exam so that is why we never really went. Henk Smitt discussed in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, on the 4-year-old boy who had serve dental issues due to the neglect of his parents.

They not only neglected to give him the dental care he needed but they were also unable to afford the dental care. Social services come to the child and their family’s home to give them enough support and further prevent mistreatment of the child. My mom worked long hours after her divorce often working over nights to support me and my three bothers. I was often the sitter because she didn’t have the money to pay for one. Now I can say first hand that neglect is not always intentional, but it does affect a child regardless of its intent of not.

Now that I am doing an internship working with mostly low-income families, I see that there are some simple answers, and then there are some that are harder in solving neglect in low-income families. One way I believe is a step in the right direction is, by educating parents and making services they needed more assessable for those who need it. But these answers don’t always fix the issue of neglect. Families need more income to be able to support their families.

The history of child neglect goes back as far as conception began. For many centuries’ laws failed to protect children from abuse. Some parents say takes a village to raise a child and if one does not have this, they my struggle to maintain the basic needs of their children, thus making them more vulnerable to neglect. Neglect and abuse toward child have been deeply rooted in our culture and religion, throughout history.

Many find it hard to believe that parents who There are many forms of neglect, physical neglect is when parent of guardian fails to provide necessary food or shelter, or even lack of appropriate supervision. Poverty has been around since the beginning of time, and because of poverty many parents have had hard times feeding their families, proving adequate housing, food and medical services, thus leading to neglect. There are many stories of a mother whose husband passes always, and he was the sole bread winner of the household.

The mother, who has no career is now supposed to be able to support her family on a limited income. Due to these reasons some parents struggle to keep things afloat, such as ensuring they have child care, so they can go to work, leaving them with friends and family because they can’t afford decent child care. Often when this happens, the friends and family have children of their own as well. David Francis of the National Bureau of Economic Research found that if a single mothers work, that child maltreatment such as neglect is significantly more likely to occur.

Neglect might occur because single mothers who work, can be more neglectful or abusive due to long hours at work, or because their children are left to be cared by someone who is neglectful or abusive to said child. Black children have been subjected to higher rates of neglect because some live-in poor communities. In history for many decades’ blacks received far lower pay than whites on average, because of this they often lived in poverty area, working long hours often still not being able to provide some of the basic needs for their children.

Current solution and support that we have today is continuously growing support groups for parents, which promote child and family well-being. poverty is often considered the single best predictor of child maltreatment, especially child neglect. Data found by the Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, stated that children from families with annual incomes that are below $15,000, are over twenty-two times more likely to experience maltreatment, than children from families whose income exceeded $30,000.

Minimum being raised will help solve the financial tension contributing to the neglect. While poverty is clearly linked with maltreatment, the relationship is not that simple. We do have some subsidized housing and child care but only for limited amount of people due to lack of funding. Where this does help with lowing cost of housing, we have huge strives that need to be made to help all those struggling in poverty. There are programs that help support child welfare, such as mentoring programs, like the one I am doing an internship at, LUK Inc.

There are food pantries that provide free food for low-income families, this can help family maintain adequate food for children. But there often is not enough to feed all the families who need food to provide for their family’s basic needs. As well as food stamps, which is money assistance given based of one’s income, I have found that the ones who really need the assistance often fall just above the limitation for income eligibility. There are support group for parents who are struggling to raise child in poverty, where they give out resources in the area. But often they aren’t easily accessible due to lack of transportation or money for transportation.

There is also fuel assistance which helps provide addition support to pay for heating in the winter, where often child will have to bundle up under blankets to stay warm when parents can’t afford heat, this assistant helps them be able to get some oil or discount of electric if they have electric heat. When there has been a report made of child neglect, DCF send a social worker out who will interview the family and get a better understanding of what is going on, this is known as a welfare check. During this time the social worker will help the family get services if needed and ensure the children are getting their basic needs. They may even refer them to services that can be beneficial to the family’s needs.

My solution and supports would be to first increase the minimum wage, to help struggling parents be able to pay for their children’s basic needs such as a home, food and decent and affordable health care. First who would need to get as many people to call our State Representatives and tell them we need high wages to support families. I would also keep affordable health care for those who cannot afford the high rate of insurance.

Having insurance will also health ensure parents will get physical and mental health needed. There is often reports of neglect because a parent who is the sole provider has mental health and they get laid off or fire and they are unable to provide basic needs, or they neglect to ensure their children are getting adequate care. I would also put more supports in the schools to help provide early prevention for children who need it. Teacher are often overwhelmed with the number of students they have so they often cannot give each child the attention they may need on certain subject that the parent may not be able to help with.

I would put more teacher assistants for classroom. I would also ensure there are adequate classes and training is for parent and teachers, as needed. Getting company’s like LUK Inc. To get more services in community who lack supports in their area. There also needs to be better affordable housing for low-income families. There also needs to be more affordable higher education for parents who want to further their career to help their families. This will help reduce stress cause by financial instability.


Cite this paper

Social Problem of Child Neglect amongst Low Income Families. (2021, Apr 07). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/social-problem-of-child-neglect-amongst-low-income-families/

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