Social Problems & Interventions In my community, social problems are evident. As a foster mother, I receive placement requests regularly for children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Driving through the streets of my community, there are panhandlers on most corners, holding signs stating “hungry,” or “please help.” As a restaurant owner, I employ many who do not have sufficient education or training to be successful in the business world. Many of my employees live in near poverty and battle with substance abuse issues, and it is necessary to work their schedules around ASAP meetings and court hearings. As a domestic violence survivor, I understand that it can happen to anyone, without anyone being aware. What I did not realize, however, is how many agencies and organizations in my community are cooperatively working daily to combat all of these major social issues. Through my research, I was surprised at the ease of access to services afforded to those in my community who are in need. The Charlottesville Child Protective Services agency investigates, identifies, and assesses reports of child abuse in an effort to protect children. Their focus is to preserve families when possible and prevent any future abuse. CPS works with local social services agencies to provide temporary homes for abused children, as well as referrals for physical and psychological care. By emphasizing family preservation, children are more likely to remain with family members with whom they have made firm and lasting bonds. It could also, however, keep children in a home where they are abused or neglected, which could lead to future abuse or death. Anyone suspecting child abuse or neglect can call the local Child Protective Services hotline, where an agent is available at all times to take a report. Reports can also be made by emailing the department of social services, or by calling the statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. Reports can be made confidentially. Children who are suffering from abuse most often must rely on others outside of their family to receive the services they are in need of, as they are unable to be their own advocates. Some families practice cultural customs that are considered to be abusive towards children in mainstream society, however it is acceptable in their culture. Other families believe in physical punishment that would constitute child abuse, however they do not believe it is abuse to hit their children when they do something wrong.
New Directions Center is a community organization that provides services for those impacted by emotional, physical, and sexual violence. Services offered include crisis intervention, emergency housing, food, clothing, and transportation away from their abuser. Volunteers, who are required to complete a certain number of training hours before providing direct client services, are a huge component of the staff. When dealing with a vulnerable population such as this, volunteers may be inadequate in offering their services, and the clients should be referred to other professional services. To receive assistance from New Directions Center, an individual would need to call their toll-free hotline. They have operators available at all times to quickly assess a situation of domestic violence and begin assistance. A client will be given access to a counselor by appointment, as well as to support groups that meet in a safe and confidential location. In families where domestic violence is occurring, fear may keep them from seeking help from services such as this. While men can be battered, they are more often the batterers in the relationship. Wives who are victims of domestic violence often excuse the abuse, as the bond they have with their husband is greater than the abuse. Studies have shown that even with the help of services, women often leave and return to their husbands numerous…