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Knowledge And Perceptions About Public Child Protection Agencies:



While most participants had heard of child
protection services, very few knew what the agency actually does, other than to
investigate allegations of abuse and neglect. Many said that what information
they have comes from the media and that it is usually negative. However, if
there had not been any negative media, attention in their communities, they had
little interest in what the agency does. Even so, participants did have some
ideas and perceptions about the agency.


·      
They
(agency staff) have no time for prevention.


·      
Child
protection agencies offer parenting classes, recommendations on which parent
the child of divorced parents should live with, battered women shelters,
after-school programs, and day care referrals. (Note that public child
protection agencies usually do not directly provide these services, except
possibly providing parenting classes and day care referrals for agency
clients.)


·      
Agencies
are under-funded, caseloads are too high, there is too much paper work, and
caseworkers are underpaid.


·      
Agencies
are really understaffed and quality is probably low because they don’t have
enough staff to handle all the problems.


Participants who had contact with
caseworkers, whether through their job or because of situations in their own
lives, generally gave caseworkers fairly high ratings, although they believe
caseworkers give advance notification of visits to birth, kinship, foster, and
adoptive families and do not think they should always do that.





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