Aboriginal Children Are Put Into Care Social Work Essay

Published: 2021-08-13 11:30:06
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From the 1800-1980’s aboriginal children were taken off the reserves and placed in residential school to teach them Canadian ways of life, to give them what was perceived as a "normal way to live" (Woodhead, 2005). To be taught religion and the English language believing this was in the best interest of the child. (Snow & Covell, 2006).The children were unable to discuss their own traditions or speak their own language once in these schools. (Jones, 2009) When old enough to go home many had lost all knowledge of their language and had very little attachment to their families. (Jones, 2009). be taken to these schools was for cultural For Many aboriginal communities believe that having a self-governed aboriginal welfare would be in the best interest for the children (Jones, 2009). When children are placed in care within the aboriginal culture it would give the children an opportunity to learn traditional ways which would be lost if put into a non-aboriginal home (Jones, 2009).
Reasons given for the removal of an aboriginal child is neglect (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011) In the 1960`s when residential schools were at their prime it was believed that aboriginal communities were inferior and children were not raised properly (Snow & Covell, 2006). Today there are more children in care then there were in residential schools (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011)It is questioned then is poverty a substantial reason to separate a child from its family (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011)?As stated by Jones" parenting problems cannot be erased by child and family services but must include the community as a whole for the number of children in care to be reduced." (Jones, 2009)In these communities there are high rates of suicide and substance abuse believed that this is due to poor economic standings. (Jones, 2009). Statistics show that 57% aboriginal children are living in poverty, where the non-aboriginal children only have 21% (Jones, 2009), Many aboriginals live in isolated areas some where the only access is on ice roads or by plane, leaving many isolated from the rest of the country (Jones, 2009). In these isolated areas access to many services that are available to children in other parts of Canada are denied in these demographic areas, demonstrating that not all Canadian children are equal beings and that what is best for the child may not be recognized by our own government (Jones, 2009), The Charter of Rights and Freedoms 15.1 states "there should be an equal opportunity for benefits" (Jones, 2009) (The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, 1985)If Canada would support all Canadians no matter the areas they live in, recognizing many aboriginals live in very poor living conditions (Jones, 2009) many of these children would not end up in care as they are now. There is another reason children are placed in care is it is found that many parents do not know how to parent. (Snow & Covell, 2006) Residential schools is believed to be responsible for most of the dysfunctional family life due to psychological problems they received living in these institutions. (Snow & Covell, 2006) Children look to their parents for advice how to parent and because their parents were raised in the residential schools where there was no direct parenting there (Houlding, Schmidt, Stern, Jamieson, & Borg, 2012). Physical punishment was a norm in residential schools and most did not get parental attachment that most children who live in a stable home receive. (Houlding, Schmidt, Stern, Jamieson, & Borg, 2012) For this reason many new programs are coming out to teach parents so that their children may not end up in care. One of the programs is The Triple P: Positive Parenting program. (Houlding, Schmidt, Stern, Jamieson, & Borg, 2012) In this program parents are taught how to engage with their children. They discuss many parenting skills like how tone of voice is important, and that by taking time to listen to the child will help a child behave in a more appropriate way. (Houlding, Schmidt, Stern, Jamieson, & Borg, 2012). Parents who completed this course confirmed that their children were a lot more cooperative and that parenting became easier and more relaxed. (Houlding, Schmidt, Stern, Jamieson, & Borg, 2012). This programs is culturally biased which allows parents to relate easier.. (Houlding, Schmidt, Stern, Jamieson, & Borg, 2012). The results for this program were very successful for the ones who chose to receive the help. (Houlding, Schmidt, Stern, Jamieson, & Borg, 2012).
The program First Nations child and family service agencies was started to help find placement of children inside their community which works with family and child services, helping prevent children from entering in the non-aboriginal system. Many aboriginal leaders are requesting full jurisdiction over child welfare services with the hope that there may be a decrease in families unable to receive services that are needed. It is argued that if aboriginal people were able to be self-governed that they would be able to find sufficient care in their communities and be able to run programs that are culturally appropriate (Jones, 2009). Which brings up the CRC article 2 and 30 "non-discrimination and respect for cultural diversity, and the right to learn and practice their own culture, language and religion" ( Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1990) Many aboriginal leaders believe that if they are able to run these programs under their own cultural beliefs that most children will be cared for better than the way they are now.
Today there are many motives for aboriginals to become involved in foster care but they must begin to recruit more families with a great incentive to have them show interest. (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011). One of the most common reason a family becomes foster parents is that the child is part of their family and they do not want them to loose attachment. Another reason is a family feels that they do not want to see another child live though poor living conditions (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011). Many do not want the child to lose their rights to learn their culture by being placed into a non-aboriginal home. (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011) These two items are within the beliefs of the aboriginal culture to support each other as a community (Jones, 2009). It was asked of a group of aboriginals why they were considering being a foster parent, most were interested because it was a way to care for the next generation, and to enhance their own lives with a greater purpose (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011).
Canada as a country has left many of these aboriginal communities with many short comings with little access to programs and services that may help families raise their children in a better way. We must look at geographic reasons for families to have poverty. These are isolated areas which do not allow for opportunities for an improved way of life, unlike many non-aboriginals who live in industrial areas. (Jones, 2009) With these thoughts is it clear that the child welfare system is looking at the broader picture of why a child may be in care. Is poverty the only reason? (Jones, 2009) It has been found substance abuse is largely seen in aboriginal communities which is another reason children are taken from their families (Brown, Gerritts, Ivanova, Mehta, & Skrodzki, 2011), but if aboriginals did have an opportunity to many resources that others may receive would the amount of people with addiction issues be as prevalent and would suicide still increase. Clearly there is an issue within our Government on the ways we have treated aboriginals in the past and today. Their support system of their community is divided by European ways and governments that do not allow for the aboriginal ways to be heard. With this we are seeing many children removed from their homes for poverty reasons and taken to homes of non-aboriginals where they are not able to learn culture and language as they would have learned by staying in their community. In conclusion when looking at the startling percentage of aboriginal children in care and we are looking as the primary consideration the best interest of the child we must as a country look at the bigger picture on not how we can fix a child but how we can fix an entire country. In our Charter of Rights and Freedom we state that all citizens of Canada are equal beings but we ignore our original Canadian people leaving them as feeling inferior from others and being treated not as equals but as a community which is less than equals. When we ignore our own rights it makes it difficult to look clearly at something written by the United Nations
Brown, J. D., Gerritts, J., Ivanova, V., Mehta, N., & Skrodzki, D. (2011, December 27). Motives of aboriginal foster parents. Elsevier, 34, 1298-1304.
Houlding, C., Schmidt, F., Stern, S. B., Jamieson, J., & Borg, D. (2012, August 11). The perceived impact and acceptability of Group Triple P Positive Parenting Program for Aboriginal parents in Canada. Elsevier, 2287-2294.
Jones, M. (2009). Systemic/Social Issues Aboriginal Child Welfare. (J. Finlay, Ed.) Relational Child and Youth Care Practice, 23(4), 17-30. Retrieved 02 16, 2013
Secretary of the United Nations (1990).Convention on the Rights of the Child
Snow, D., & Covell, K. (2006). Adoption and the Best Intrests of the Child: the dilemma of Cultural Interpretation. International Journal of Children's rights, 14, 109-117.
Woodhead, M. (2005). Early Childhood Development: A question of rights. International Journal of Early Childhood, 37(3), 79-98.
(1985). The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section B
The life of a 13 year old has significant differences thought out the time. In 1450 life was depicted in paintings Philippe Aries believed that by the age of 7 children were classified as adults and would of dressed and worked as one. (Raby, 2013) Education was not a concern at that time, but the need to help support the family was of the greatest importance (Raby, 2013) Children would have either worked on a farm or brought to a family to learn a trade. Working was the only option at that time, if not it was common to see a 13 year old living on the street looking for work as any adult would of at that time (Raby, 2013). By 1850’s education was only recognized by the rich for these children they had the opportunity to go to school and was hidden from most of society. For most children it was a great importance to help work on the farm, or support the family in either an industry, or mining. It was recognized as a proud accomplishment for there to be a lot of work for children and was proudly recognized by John A. McDonald. (Raby, 2013)
By the 1950’s education was fully recognized and a legal requirement for all children. The industrial revolution by this time had made factories work smoothly where the need for young people to run the factory was no longer seen. (Raby, 2013) Leaving the positions for men who had just come back from the war to work and financially support their families. Having an opportunity for the women and the children to stay at home and not work. This was an opportunity for children to learn in schools. Children legally had to stay in school until they were 16 and for a 13 year old their focus on life was to be educated to the best of their ability and for their father to support them in all their wants and needs. In conclusion, education and the invention of the industrial revolution are the main reasons for change and improvement in a life of a 13 year old. (Raby, 2013)
Question #2
When speaking to the critical theorists, regarding the graffiti she was using the Marxism thinking and the liberation of the working class system. The theorist noted that there is a stronger divide between the rich and poor even in St. Catharines. (Montgomery & Burr, 2003)As critical theorists looked at the high cost of tuition in colleges and universities and understanding that many young people cannot afford the high costs therefore are looking for good paying jobs. Looking at the job bank the theorist understood that most good paying jobs are looking for higher education. This is leaving the youth looking for work to pay for their education, unable to find work because they do not have education. For this reason the system sucks for the youth of lower economic status (Montgomery & Burr, 2003)
The social constructionist while looking at the job bank sees employers are looking for education and experience. For the youth who may have the education believe they deserve jobs at a high pay scale and should not bring their standards down to lower paying jobs. This is leaving many of the youth with large debt and little ways to pay it back. The constructionist believes that these two individuals hope their campaign is heard and that acknowledgment of shortcoming of finding employment for youth. (Montgomery & Burr, 2003)
Once the issues were discussed it was believed that the work force and the education field must work together helping students gain experience and be financially rewarded to improve their life and lower their debt load. Suggesting that the politician implicate grants for employers to hire young people who are still in school and looking to further their education and with that to introduce rewarding scholarships for each year they work with the company to help with the high costs of tuition. Once the student had graduated employment would be guaranteed with the student to secure a full time job. Giving the student a goal to strive for knowing there would be a reward at the end of all the hard work. \
Question #5
One of the most obvious discourses is that children are innocent and live in the here and now. They do not look to what may become have tomorrow but how they can look at how great today can become. Having innocence shows that a child is not open yet to possibilities of a bad tomorrow (Raby, 2013). But to live every day as a time to explore what is offered. Another discourse is that children are unable to make most important decisions and it is up to a parent or guardian to guide them to make the best choices. (Raby, 2013)
When we look at what is depicted on what society looks at an adolescent it is clearly that what we think of a teen is not to different from what we look at as a child. First life of adolescence is like living though storms, that hormones occupy their train of thought and that they are excessively daring and live a care free way of life, to live of the moment and hopefully make it to the next day (Raby & McNamara, 2013). Secondly for an adolescent is that they make bad choices, they put fun and risk in the same category and never look to the future as a greater plan. They are too reckless to be treated as an adult and must be watched carefully for in case they make mistakes Today adolescents are in school much longer. (Raby, 2013) They are a lot more sheltered from the life of working. some do not get into the work force until much later in life, giving them more of a child like life until as late as early 20’s (Raby, 2013). Parents feel it is their obligation to keep them sheltered from the realities of life until they are done their education. This is also sheltering them from the work force giving them no working experience which makes them more childlike even when they graduate from school which is not until the early 20’s leaving them in a childlike status for a significant longer time in life. (Raby, 2013)

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