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Home Visiting Programs Prevent Mental and Physical Health Issues at Adulthood
Briana Villarreal
Sam Houston State University

Home Visiting Programs Prevent Mental and Physical Health Issues at Adulthood
Child abuse and neglect have a huge impact on both physical and mental health. An astonishing 78% of abused women and 82% of abused men reportedly suffered from a minimum of one psychiatric disorder (Arnow, 2004). On the other hand there is a range of 37-167% of medical diagnosis for physically abused children having high blood pressure, heart problems, liver problems, ulcers and much more at adulthood (Springer, Sheridian, Kuo, Carnes, 2007). Overcoming these statistics for abused and neglected children is a work in progress. If we increase the amount of home visiting programs for abused and neglected children we will reduce the amount of physical and mental health issues at adulthood.
The way we perceive child abuse and neglect has changed immensely over time. Recent laws and bills have paved the way for protection services and counseling to be available to children. Although it is often hard to recognize if abuse or neglect is actually taking place, there has been a wave of movements to help child abuse and neglect awareness. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that child abuse was recognized as a wrong doing. The case of Mary Ellen Wilson was the first case that proved to show that abusing children was wrong and that if the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) could provide proper protection for animals then there needed to be adjustments done to the law to protect children as well. THERE NEEDS TO BE A CITATION HERE. This case set in motion an entirely new view on children and also a new definition of abuse, neglect, and children’s rights.
Home visiting programs have provided many abused and neglected children relief. They give parental education, provide risk screening, and also work to change views, attitudes, and behaviors of abusive parents. There are many different aspects that go along with home visiting programs. They correspond to each family’s needs and are designed to help the necessities of the child according to the child’s risk for abuse, age, available services, amount of education given and even the intensity of the home visits (Howard, Brooks-Gunn, 2009).
Parental education has been the leading determinate of abusive parenting. Home visiting programs provide skills that parents lack both physically and emotionally. These programs teach parents how to use their strengths to establish a stronger relationship with their children and to promote good child health and development (Duggan et al., 2007). When an abusive parent learns proper health and child development skills then he or she can become more open minded about trust and begin to build the parent- child relationship when is crucial to a child’s emotional development (Chartier, Walker, Naimark, 2010). Identifying parental interpretation of child behavior and stress management is another form of education that home visiting programs provide (Duggan et al., 2007). The home visitor teach parents how to adequately identify the problem and then to plan different possible ways to deal with the child’s behavior and attitude (Duggan et al., 2007).
The behaviors and attitudes that parents possess about their children and child behavior can have a major impact on the way that they treat their children. This part of the program focuses on how the parent identifies their situation, how they think they could change it and how they plan on making these changes happen (Duggan et al., 2007). This process gives them the opportunity to assess the issues that they feel are important and it also gives the home visitor the opportunity to intervene and show them the behaviors that are abusive and neglectful to their children. Parent self-help was also a contributor when trying to change the attitudes and behaviors in abusive