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How Social Workers Can Use Training to Create Safe Environments for Children

Training programs allow social workers to extend their reach and help reform communities to improve the safety of children. At a time when there are too few social workers and too many at-risk children, training provides a way for professionals to help children by teaching their communities how to interact with them better. Parents, educators and even professionals can be taught to better respond to children’s needs.

Preventing child abuse is one of the most important aspects of social work. Not only is it a matter of protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our society, it’s also crucial to the future of the country. It’s fundamental to our overall well-being; from limiting the public health aspects of trauma to lessening the burden on our country’s prison system and reducing the cycle of poverty and injustice.

Children learn from their authority figures, and that means that stopping problems now can help break the cycle and stop it from becoming a reality in the future. Catholic University of America offers multiple degree tracks which teach social workers to become agents for change so they can train communities to provide a safer environment for children.

Training caregivers

According to the Centers for Disease Control, evidence-based programs that teach caregivers positive child-rearing and child management skills are the most basic approach to ensuring positive environments for children. Social workers can play a key role in providing that education to caregivers who may never have been taught these skills. Caregivers include parents, family, friends and anybody else involved in a child’s upbringing. The goal is to create a positive environment with safe, stable and nurturing relationships.

A number of such programs already exist, with varying amounts of data to support their effectiveness. It’s important, however, for social workers to identify programs appropriate for a child’s developmental stage and their caregiver’s needs. It’s important that the caregivers should never feel as if attending these programs means they’re abusive or unsafe, so the way it is presented to the caregiver will set the tone for overall success.

Training teachers, volunteers and other community members

Of course, children don’t spend all their time with their primary caregivers, so training other members of a child’s environment is also important. This can take the form of working to prevent sexual abuse by authority figures, but it can also mean teaching those figures to relate well with children.

According to the National Association of Social Workers, 80 percent of children come to school ready to learn and comply with school rules and norms. Another 15 percent only need moderate assistance like anger management or social skills training. Five percent have severe behavior problems.

Social workers are uniquely qualified to participate in the educational environment and train teachers to interact with children and identify problems that those students might be facing. Instead of simply letting those students fail, with training teachers can identify specific issues and treatment for those problems.

This can help reduce the disparity of educational outcomes among socio-economic groups and races by promoting a safe and positive learning environment for all students. The Catholic University of America’s online Master of Social Work program helps you develop the skills as a social worker to create a safer environment for children.

Learn more about the Catholic University of America’s online MSW. Request more information or call us at 855-295-5711 to speak with an admissions adviser.