For some people the phrase social worker has a negative association. It can be connected to a terror that someone will come into your home and take away your kids. Most social workers cannot take your children away. There are many different kinds of social workers employed by agencies or in private practice. There are many different types of bsw and msw jobs . Reporting suspected abuse would be part of anyone’s position, but actual home investigations are conducted by specific people.
Children can never be taken away unless there is reason to believe they are not safe. Children must be cared for by an adult. The adult must provide food clothing and shelter for the child. Adult who fail to do that may very well find their children will be taken away. Some situations might be if a child is showing signs of abuse and neglect, appears not to be fed, does not attend school or if a person expresses a concern regarding the child’s well being. Abuse is serious not just on a physical level but also psychologically. I have seen clients at sixty years of age that still have terrible nightmares from childhood abuse and have never been able to get into healthy relationships.
Such concerns are made to the local agency responsible for the health and safety of children. Those agencies have different names in different cities. In my town it’s call The Department of Human Services but it may be the Department of Children and Families, The Department of Youth Services or any similar name. Many clinicians choose due to their passion social work jobs with children in order to protect them.
Those agencies employ social workers who investigate reports of abuse and neglect. A social worker will come out to your home and interview you and the child. They will want to see your home and meet all the people who live in the house. They may come back several times. The social workers employed by theses agencies CAN take your children away. This can be a very stressful time for the family if there is no abuse going on. Sometimes an ex-spouse or partner may make false allegations out of anger or hatred. Nonetheless, everything needs to be investigated as the child’s welfare is the most important. Also children that are abused often will not speak up because they are told that harm may come to their siblings or parent.
The children will be placed in a safe environment. It may be with a foster family, relative or in a children’s home. A treatment plan will be created with your input to set goals for the return of your child. Cooperating with those in charge may insure the quicker return of your child. It is always the goal of the agency to place children with family. If that is not possible they seek outside placements. And it is always the goal to return the child to their family as soon as possible.