Children at Risk for Abuse in the City of Chicago

Abstract

Many children today are at risk of abuse and maltreatment. Statistics show that more than fifty per cent of children under surveys carried out between 2003 and 2010 have been victims of abuse or maltreatment. These involve both direct and indirect cases. While direct cases are where children experience the impact of an abuse or neglect, indirect child abuse involves a child witnessing or learning about an abuse in their community. Most indirect abuses involve children learning or witnessing violent act or threat against their family, neighborhood or over close friends. Consequently, abuse can be from their general environment such as school or at home (Sedlak, Mettenburg, Basena, McPherson, Green & Li, 2010).

Statistics show that assaults among children and adolescence average 46.3%. Among these, 10% succumb to traumatic injuries. 24% of this population result from harsh living environment exposing children to robbery, drugs, vandalism, theft and political aggressions. 10.2% are victims of family, school and neighborhood mistreatments such as emotional and physical abuse, kidnapping, neglects and abandonment. 6 % are victims of direct or indirect sexual harassment.

Indirect child abuse cases are very high in the United States as compared to direct abuses. Statistics shows that 25% of children have been victims of abuse through learning or witness victims to their close acquaintances, relatives and family as subject to harassments. 9.8% are exposed to violent acts within the family. Among all forms of child abuse, direct victimization reaches 40% (Sedlak et al., 2010).

However, studies show that child abuse can be prevented and victims rehabilitated to reduce post abuse cases. Countering of child abuse problems relies on preventative and promotional health. American society needs to collaborate in identifying the causes of child abuse. After cause identification, preventative interventions should be rolled out accompanied by education programs to the vulnerable groups. A vitim needs counseling programs to restore their status, rehabilitation services should be offered to those who are badly affected (Sedlak et al., 2010).

Introduction

Through researches, clinical records and records from department of justice, it is evident that quite a number of children are exposed to abuses of various categories. Home violence, substance abuse, neglects, poverty and sexual abuse are among the most common factors making children to be at risk of abuse in Chicago. This paper identifies children at risk in Chicago through analyzing the current and past risk exposers in Chicago city.

To be able to identify children at risk, the study uses literature materials to examine past and present child risk factors, their consequences and possible prospects. The prime purpose of the paper is to instigate discussion among various stake holders and create more understanding by exposing the most vulnerable children to abuse in the city. The paper also looks at the possible ways researches, policies and practices can be incorporated to manage child abuse.

Consequently, these problems should be deeply understood from all possible angles such as the possible causes, the most risk groups, the demographic patterns and cultural perspectives. These should be backed up by both empirical and theoretical studies. Current counter of child abuse measures should also be taken into consideration, and their failure and success are to be analyzed. From such analysis better modalities can be developed that can result into reduction of child abuse in most cities in the world (Daro & Dodge, 2009).

This study captures what has been a tragic problem across America. However, the study is focused on the city of Chicago. The number of suffering children due to abuse is seen to be escalating rather than reducing. Today most-at-risk-children result from the action of their parents and caretakers. In Chicago, most-at-risk-children are at age of four, they mostly suffer from neglects and other forms of abuse. A number of recorded child abuse deaths result from physical trauma caused by parents under drug influence or anger stricken fathers. Notably, child suffering from neglects, normally result from mothers. Such mothers do leave their children due to family problems or economic burden. Societal influences in Chicago such as atrocities in the neighborhood and schools also contribute to child abuse in the city (Palusci & Ondersman, 2012).

Child abuse causes have raised concerns over child wellbeing and safety in the city. As a result, many child advocacy groups and other governmental bodies are fighting through educational and promotional programs to create awareness and understanding among people. These are aimed at creating an enabling environment for quality services in controlling child abuse. This paper focuses on the risk factors that make children more vulnerable to abuse and neglect in the city of Chicago.

The risks covered in the paper are poverty, drug, inadequate parenting and environmental stress resulting to child victimization. The risk impacts or consequences such as death, system abuse and injuries have also been studied. The paper also shows the importance of resilient factors such as the spirituality, community and extended family strength. Finally, the paper looks at the possible child abuse prevention modes in Chicago (Sedlak et al., 2010).

Child abuse in American society is subjective to population determinants such as race, age, gender, social constraints and education. Deeper understanding is required to underscore reasons behind variation in prevalence in the society, as a base to developing solutions. Parenting process, environment and history of a community also are important in understanding child abuse. In Chicago city, most child abuse has been recorded among the blacks than the white. However, abuse ages vary with most children abused between 4-8 years. Most reports fail in showing the impact of these demographic elements in child abuse (Valentino, Nuttall, Comas, Borkowski, & Akai, 2012).

Numerous literature materials present today, however, lack empirical evidence in explaining how wider, socioeconomic contributes to child abuse. Also, there is no better explanation on the misappropriate number of children as depicted in Chicago. Historically, intervention programs in Chicago have met difficulties in insufficient services, inequitable policies and inadequate intervention modes. In Chicago, most child maltreatment cases are reported by teachers and other school authorities (English, Graham, Newton, Lewis, Thompson, Kotch & Cindy, 2012). The chart below gives a summary of major child abuse cause by 2010.

Child Abuse by Causes.
Fig1. Child Abuse by Causes.

Bibliography

Bartholet, E., Wulczyn, F., Barth, P., & Lederman, C. (2011).Race and Child Welfare.Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

While trying to curb child abuse, child welfare has showed an increased bias in malpractice treatment. Welfare has disproportionally placed contact with children under racial prejudice. Issues such as why black children had more placements for foster parents raised concerns. Empirical study results were presented to show the rates and trends of child abuse in the black community. The studies show that blacks suffer much maltreatment cases as compared to any other race. Blacks also showed worsen abuse outcomes. They show high rates of traumatic injuries, deaths and higher mortalities among those in the child welfares. To eradicate child abuse in Chicago and other communities in general, community intervention programs should be focused more on the black community.

Siegel, L. J. (2012).Criminology: Theories, Patterns, and Typologies. New York: Cengage Learning.

Historical pasts and racial aspects make children become victims of maltreatment and abuse. Children brought up by parents who also grew up in unstable families, find themselves victims of abuse. Such abuses are made worse when the parents are drug addicts. On the other hand, abuse cases have been noted to be a characteristic of low economic families whose children are willing to engage in any activity to meet their needs. In Chicago, the blacks lead in child mistreatment both within and outside family units. Historical hostilities and cultural beliefs are considered to enhance child maltreatment among the blacks.

Daro, D. (2010). Child Abuse Prevention: A Job Half Done. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Rates in child abuse have dropped by 19% from 1980 to 2007. The decline significantly has come from physical, sexual and emotional abuse. However, documents regarding pervasive and chronic malpractices, neglects and most forms documented in child welfare are lacking. Significant drop in child abuse is noted between 1993 and 2007 but these rates are still higher than rates recorded in 1980s. This shows that despite the drops, there are still numerous actions required in order to handle the situation. Community approaches to control the situation have shown significant drops as compared to 1980s. At the same time, institutions have relaxed on the child abuse instances.

Daro, D., & Dodge, K. (2009).Creating Community responsibility for Child Protection: Possibilities and Challenges. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Child abuse prevention can be achieved through comprehensive multidiscipline services and through participatory approach among the stake holders. These will work through creation of awareness and building of cultural competencies among the city communities. On the other hand, government support, through proper allocation of resources and families need proactive support system to be strengthened. These can include parental training programs, community family support programs, training programs aimed at dispensing skills to the family members, family and community preservation programs, and institution based conflict management and resolution programs.

English, D. J., Graham, C., J., Newton, R., R., Lewis, T., Thompson, R., Kotch, J., & Weisbart, C. (2012). At-Risk and Maltreated Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Aggression/Violence: What the Conflict Looks Like and Its Relationship to Child Outcomes Child Maltreat. Web.

While there is a constant increase in studies and researches intend to explore the possible causes of intimate partner aggression or violence (IPAV) and other related maltreatments among children, very little has been done to know the basic causes from the family unit. A research was carried out to explore behavioral and emotional outcomes of children from families where one or both intimate partners are subject to IPAV. The study results showed that most of the families commonly had verbal conflicts; however, there were difference in ages, gender and degrees of aggressions. These families showed high rates of children highly risked to abuse. Their children also faced a lot of traumatic and emotional problems too often.

Wulczyn, F., Ernest, M., & Fisher, P. (2011). Who Are the Infants in Out-of-Home Care?. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

One of the ways of reducing risks to abuse in many cases as a result of neglects or other forms is through taking them to fostering programs. Although fostering centers provide the children with enough protection against family and societal abuse, it is never the best option for infants. Infants have shown emotional development, problems of mental developments and slow development in cognitive and language as compared to those with their parents. As a result, intervention programs over child abuse should concentrate on the community empowerment rather than rehabilitation of the victims. Welfare centers need to adopt mentoring programs of stress alleviation and learning services to parent over child mentoring. When the programs are effectively administered, parents are able to access resources and develop a strong support links. The major aim of support groups and centers is to reduce the current family isolations, which evidently impair children especially the infants.

Ryan, J. P. (2012). Substitute Care in Child Welfare and the Risk of Arrest: Does the Reason for Placement Matter? Child Maltreat. Web.

Juvenile delinquent groups are the most at risk of abuse among children. At the same time, the group turns out to be abusive in turn. Studies in the cities placement centers and arrest statistics confirm that drug abuse and family problems make children more prone to other forms of abuse and juvenile offences leading to their arrests. The study sample stratification was made of children of ages from 8 through 16 years. While under placement centers, the children showed almost similar problems due to the abuse. The cause of their abuses could commonly be traced to family issues and their community in general.

Valentino, K., Nuttall, A. K., Comas, M., Borkowski, J.G., & Akai, C.E. (2012). Intergenerational Continuity of Child Abuse among Adolescent Mothers: Authoritarian Parenting, Community Violence, and Race, Child Maltreat. Web.

Children are exposed to all kinds of abuses right from their families to their exposed environment. Once children have become vulnerable due to lack of family and community support they fall victims to all sorts of abuse and maltreatments. Such children have been abused through direct partition into antisocial activities in the city or they have succumbed to such situations through their parents, close relative or acquaintances. Children from poor families are very vulnerable to abuse. Most children that suffer from school abuses in Chicago are from low income background or broken families. They fail to cope in school and end up with poor grades and in the end drop out. Children vulnerability also is attributed to lack of communal support that could direct them. Supportive neighborhood can as well reduce risk factors, however, in most cities neighborhood attention is lacking.

Sedlak, J., Mettenburg, J., Basena, M., McPherson, K., Green, A., & Li, S. (2010). Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4): Report to congress, Executive Summery. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Human Service, Administration for Children and Families.

According the report, child abuse does not steadily decline as expected rather it shows an upward trend. Consequently, there is a need for multidimensional approaches among the stake holders in handling the problem. Preventative measures should fully cover all groups, the risk children, family and community. Most successful programs have incorporated day care and child education programs within the communities. Prenatal programs are also essential to develop parents maturely for child care. Proper incorporation of all the stakeholders is believed to be the best strategy in addressing any social issue in the society. This has showed the difference why despite huge intervention programs carried out today have failed to reach the success of the intervention programs carried out in 1980s.

Palusci, V.J., & Ondersman, S.J. (2012). Child Maltreat, Services and Recurrence After Psychological Maltreatment Confirmed by Child Protective Services. Web.

Although, researchers are fighting hard to find the best modes of preventing child abuse and rehabilitating the affected ones, there has been no one successful method that has been identified. Child abuse is seen as community problem with various causes and that need a multidimensional strategy to manage.

A cohort study was carried out using the Neglect Data System and the National Child Abuse data in 18 states including Chicago. Child protective Services confirmed the study report findings. Most of children abuse and maltreatment cases came from the families and the neighborhood children. Most of the children under study showed recurrent psychological problems after their admission to child protective services. The study showed that most-at-risk-children generally come from poor families and community hence preventative measures should be directed through creation of economic resources to such communities.

Children Abuse Risks in Chicago City

Most families in Chicago especially among the blacks, believe in authoritarian family life. Children in such families have no voice over their parents. The culture dictates that children have to follow the wish of their parents even if it is through physical pressure. In such families, children are exposed to corporal punishments such as beating if they do not follow directives given by the parents. Such parents end up beating their children even to an extent of rendering traumatic injuries.

Education of children among some families in Chicago also involves use of pressure for the children to learn. Studies show that some children are evicted into the cold or denied food once they fail to follow their parents teaching. Child maltreatment in such homes also involves forcing them to accept what is unreasonable to them. Some families, for example, force their children to enroll in specific schools and take specific courses and failure to pass those makes parents withdraw their education funding (English et al, 2012).

The modern family structure leaves children to be at risk state once their parents fail to give them attention. Most children today do not have extended family bonds; some do not even knowledge of their extended family existence. As a result, culturing children has remained the work of the parents rather than the community. In case of unstable family, children have no refuge places and have to embrace the full impact of the situation. Some children have been victims of parental conflicts and drunkenness that end up traumatizing them in their future life (Palusci & Ondersman, 2012).

Stability of families and modes of impacting knowledge to children are very vital in child upbringing. Poor mechanism of knowledge rendering has resulted into many children experiencing psychological and physical problems. On the other side, some families leave their children without impacting required societal values such as discipline, respect and religion roots. Such children find it hard to cope with a problem that is traced to their parental upbringing. Due to poor family and lack of communal upbringing, most children have been abused in various ways. As a result, black children become the most-at-risk-group because of their family traditions (Valentino et al., 2012).

Environmental Risk Factors in the city of Chicago

Socioeconomic problems in the city have exposed several children to abuse through child witnessing or direct impact. Children have been abused through direct partition into antisocial activities in the city or they have succumbed to such situations through their parents, close relative or acquaintances. Children from poor families are very vulnerable to abuse. Most children that suffer from school abuses in Chicago are from low income families. In turn, when they grow up, they turn to be ruthless and aggressive towards their fellows. Most unstable families in Chicago are low income earners, as a result, their children lack full family supports. Children in such families are vulnerable to crimes and drug use as a mode of seeking solace in life (Daro & Dodge, 2009).

Chicago judicial reports give the alarming statistics of children that have been used in criminal activities and drug trafficking within and outside the city. Due to poverty, children leave schools and join city gangs. Psychologically, this is seen as a move of reducing family stress and finding sense of belonging according to Mass law (Bartholet, Wulczyn, Barth & Lederman, 2011).

City environmental stressors among some population have also resulted into abuse among children. Racism, prejudice, housing and job have a lot of impact on children and families. Stressed families suffer from violence, neglect, hostility and abusive behavior to children. Children are the recipient of parents’ anger and distress, hence when their families are experiencing problems, they are the ones that get tortured. Children in those families, apart from witnessing their family problems as violent acts, become victims of the situation (Sedlak et al., 2010).

The children become vulnerable to neglect, physical abuse, sexual exploitation, abductions and murders. This shows why homeless children are common in the city streets. Additionally, children from such families fail to cope in school; they end up with poor grade and in the end drop out. Children vulnerability is also attributed to lack of communal support that could direct them. Supportive neighborhood can as well reduce risk factors, however, in most cities, neighborhood is lacking attention. Backing from learning institutions is also absent in most schools and colleges in the cities hence affected children opt as dropping from school as the only alternative (Daro & Dodge, 2009).

Poverty, on the other hand, makes the parents unable to give protection to their children against harm. Abused children fail to get even the basic needs and become vulnerable to lures into those actives that they believe can enable them to satisfy their needs. They are, hence, involved into crimes, early prostitutions and drug trafficking in the city. Poverty also has negative impact on child physical and mental development and health. Children from poor families have the highest rates of dropouts due to low performance. Drop outs also come from possible delinquencies, adult poverty and childbearing (Palusci & Ondersman, 2012).

While many studies fail to show the relationship between drugs and alcohol, clinical evidences show that most fostered children have parental history of drug taking and alcohol abuse. Infants born in drugging families have shown higher percentage of fostering as compared to other children. In Chicago, city fostering institutions are today overwhelmed by black children. It can be realized that family, environment and social setup influence vulnerability of child abuse and neglect (Wulczyn, Ernst & Fisher, 2011).

Chicago city is not free from drug trafficking, which has resulted into violent activities among the communities. Children have succumbed to traumatic injuries while others have even died in cases such as cross fire. A big number of children in Chicago are brought up by alcohol and drug (AOD) parents or caretakers and some get abused by their own parents or caretakers. Since alcohol and drug abuse victims are prone to anger and irritability, children born in such house are extremely vulnerable to abuse and neglects. Child maltreatment related to alcohol and drugs is very high in Chicago (Siegel, 2012).

Child Victimizations and Risk Impacts to Children

Corporal punishments administered on children include caning and other forms of physical beatings. Clinical evidences in Chicago city show that a number of children encounter fractures, burns, trauma and even head injuries. These are the result of cultural believe in some societies that children are better taught through corporal punishment. Some children as well encounter this physical abuse from enraged parents under the drug and alcohol influence. Children also suffer these injuries out of family neglect and the imposing caretaker takes advantage of their situation. Although hitting children is reducing in Chicago due to strong legal system, emotional parents do beat their children in the name of disciplining them (Siegel, 2012).

However, there is a lot of confusion between most parents and children over discipline role play. Those parents who believe in beating as a disciplinary mechanism, believe that the law ties them from its side. Some parents purely leave the work of children discipline to schools and other institutions. Some parents wait until their children grow up enough to be corrected and most of them at the end fail. At the same time, the parents lack appropriate mechanism for setting discipline among the children. Although, there are numerous alternatives for discipline administration, most parents are reluctance due to their cultural background. Parents and caretakers do forget that discipline is just a corrective behavior and they attach emotional influence while rendering discipline (Valentino et al., 2012).

Cases of Child Neglect in Chicago City

Most reports to child welfare system are neglects. These are either partial or complete neglects. Neglects refer to avoidance of a responsibility by parents or caretakers. Neglects can take several forms from education, emotional, supervisory, medical neglect and abandonment. In Chicago, neglect cases reduce with increases in the age of children. Most neglect cases are reported between ages 0-7, with a low number of neglects on children above teens.

Chronicle neglect cases are attributed to immature parentage that lacks skills of child care taking. Mental problem and drug abuse are also another major cause of neglects. Poverty and single parenthood have been noted to be another main source of child neglect in the city of Chicago. Due to their vulnerability, some of these children turn into drug abuse and trafficking. The chart below shows infants who are exposed to drugs in 2010 (Sedlak et al., 2010).

Substance Exposed Infants.
Fig2. Substance Exposed Infants.

Child Sexual Abuses in the City

Child abuse statistics are no easily covered since sexual abuse definition has been so wide, and most of the cases are never reported. Child sexual abuse is a serious issue in Chicago despite limited reports. Children that are exposed to sexual abuse face traumatic incidences depending on the force or aggression they encountered. Diagnosis of sexual abuse as well is very complex. In Chicago, all children despite their age, culture, race and religion are at risk of sexual abuse.

Most child sexual offenders use different means such as physical force and threats. At times, both approaches are applied by the offenders. Other common modes include bribery, moral misrepresentation, nonphysical threats and adult authority. Girls receive more child molestation than boys in Chicago. Offenders are mostly baby sitters, neighbors, relatives or parents. Surprisingly, abuses of infants and toddlers have been recorded in Chicago (Ryan, 2012).

Boys normally get abused by multiple offenders while girls normally face multiple types of sexual contacts. Boys are rarely victimized by family members in Chicago as girls. Girls also tend to reside with the offenders. Victims find it hard to deal with post sexual abuse traumatic cases. They experience loss of innocence and self-control that make them unable to trust or rely on people. Traumatic sexual abuse cases might be acute or chronological such as depression, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, phobic reactions, reduction in school performances, teen pregnancies, eating disorders, acute anxiety and several social and mental problems (Palusci & Ondersman, 2012).

The figure below shows statistical data of child abuse in Illinois in 2010.

Child Abuse Statistics in 2010.
Fig3. Child Abuse Statistics in 2010.

Trends in Abuse and Neglect among Children

While the general trend in child abuse is decreasing from early studies carried out in 1980s, documents regarding pervasive and chronic malpractices, neglects and most forms documented in child welfare were lacking. Significant drop in child abuse was noted in between 1993 and 2007 but these rates are still higher than rates recorded in 1980s. The following table shows a 1996 report by the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4).

The NIS-4 Report.
Fig4. The NIS-4 Report.

From the study, there is an impressive reduction in abuse and maltreatement cases in the late years, however, the numbers are still much below those recorded in 1980s. For example, the rate of children harmed in 2006 was at 75% than those in 1980 and still 16% higher than the reports of 1986. There is no change in the rates of the children who were harmed or considered to be in danger of harm from 1993 (Daro & Dodge, 2009).

Cases of child emotional neglect as a result of witnessing extreme or chronic family member’s mistreatment and failure of parents to provide attention to their children are recorded with constant increase. On the other hand, incidences where child received traumatic injury or suffering and even deaths show no significant decline from 1980s. Only extreme cases of child abandonment, sexual penetrations, tying, confining and binding decreseased across the period. Lack of change in the studies over the child fatalities due to mistreatment is attributed to high records of recent child abuse fatality risk. In 2007, the figures showed a 15% increase as compared to 2006. The victims were mostly under the age of five (Sedlak et al., 2010).

Causes of Significant Increase in Child Abuse

Particular reasons for the changes in for decrease in child abuse are not easy to draw, however, the incidences are attributed to changes in economic, social and policy structures. A decrease in sexual abuse was noted, despite the fact that sexual abuse prevention was not restricted among high risk group. Sexual abuse safety has been administered in various institutions such as schools, colleges and religious centers. This can be referred to the fact that most promotional and prevention strategies need to incorporate various wide strategies in dealing with societal problems (Ryan, 2012).

Education programs have included televison programs and internet messages. Since most people have access to the programs, a lot of psychological transformations are achieved as compared to application of judicial measures. Youths have also been empowered to educate fellow youths and their younger brothers and sisters. As a result of peer influence, a lot of positive changes have been achieved through youths’ programs. Church as a communal structure has also adopted monitoring and mentoring strategies to reduce societal evils. Victimes also have been rehabilitated and used as role models in communicating and educating their fellow members(Wulczyn et al., 2011).

Legal system has also increased pressure over the offenders. Strict surveillance with reports over hotlines and policing centers have been heightened. Cases of unishment among the offenders have increased from mild community policing to incarcerations. The result is lowered rates of new offenders falling into the temptation why common offenders always fall into the law for correction purposes (Valentino et al., 2012).

The differences in the rates can be attributed to the fact that current programs are less comprehensive. In the early 1980s, child abuse and crime reduction involved cooperation of communities and philanthropic associations. Huge promotions were carried out by such organizations as Master Card, National Basket Association, Freddy Max and Target corporations, Ad Council and several sororities and fraternities. Non profit organizations also joined during this time to fight for the plight of children(Daro & Dodge, 2009).

Today the tentative approach given to address the child abuse cases is not comprehensive. Current programs have not been able to satisfy all parents except only a few. In 1980s, the programs were directed to the whole public and the whole community responsibility. The messages sent in the past were based on the consequences of child abuse to the society and how they can be reduced. Recently, these messages have been altered or simply they have lost focus. The public awareness on child abuse topic has greatly been reduced, and attention of most communities has been withdrawn to other fields (Daro, 2010).

Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Model

No family can function on its own isolated from institutions, communities and government. In every state, resource channels follow this path. Additionally, determination of policies which hold families relies on the interdependency of these bodies. With establishment of agencies, families are able to access service that they need and jobs created. On the lower level, prevention can be achieved through comprehensive multidiscipline services and through participatory approach among the stake holders.

These will work through awareness, creation and building of cultural competencies among the city communities. Families need proactive support system. These can include parental training programs, community family support programs, training programs aimed at dispensing skills to the family members, family and community preservation programs, and institution based conflict management and resolution programs. The approaches need active involvement of community members across the programs (Wulczyn et al., 2011).

The support centers are community based centers aimed at provision of promotion services and prevention measures against child abuse. The centers offer mentoring programs of stress alleviation and learning services to parent over child mentoring. Most centers provide range of programs such as home visitations, intervention programs in case of crisis, communal and parent support bodies, discussion and exchange programs and counseling programs. When the programs are effectively administered, parents are able to access resources and develop a strong supportive link. The major aim of support groups and centers is to reduce the current family isolations seen in many cities. This way vulnerable families can be reached and alleviated accordingly (Daro, 2010).

The programs need to be comprehensive. They should fully cover all the risks, the children, the family and the community. Most successful programs have incorporated day care and child education programs within the communities. Prenatal programs are also essential to develop parents maturely for child care (Baatz, 2008).This model is believed to be the most accepted within the community and most implementers. However, there are challenges of resources to implement most of these programs in many communities. Additionally, cultural diversity has been another hindrance of running the programs in Chicago (Ryan, 2012).

Most states have applied programs of crisis preventions and education approaches. Courses such as firearms safety, classroom education, counseling, public campaigns and peer mentoring and education have been rolled out with a lot of success. The programs are supposed to be run under persuasion to the community rather than coercive mechanism. Most communities show reactions when they are forced to participate in programs than when they are persuaded (Ryan, 2012).

Mediation training and creation of self-esteem have been found to be the best approaches in community programs. Use of mentors and role models is the most effective way of applying non-aggressive mechanisms while addressing various problems (Benjamin, 2011). The group also helps community members build their self-esteem and actualization. Such programs as crisis management, creation of group support and outreaches have excelled in combating violence among youth. When properly applied, community programs have excels more than the use of law enforces (Palusci & Ondersman, 2012).

An education program instills the culture to the community as a whole as compared to judicial measures. On the other hand, empowerments are aimed at creating culturally accepted values in the community, which last longer than the efforts of law enforces. The programs should also be focused on risk population such as reduction of gangs, juvenile delinquency, drug abuse and trafficking, substance abuse, child abuse and managing other out of control behaviors. Communal activities including socialization, recreation, life skill development and career development should be included in the programs (Sedlak et al., 2010).

Conclusion

Child abuse is a growing concern in every nation today. It is attributed to determinants such as race, age, gender, social constraints and education. However, a lot is needed to create understanding on the reasons behind variation in prevalence in the society to enable the government and the communities to develop a lasting solution. Contextual issues such as parenting process, environment and history of a community also are the main factors putting children at risk of abuse in cities. In Chicago, most-at-risk-children are blacks than whites. However, abuse ages vary with most-at-risk-children between 4-8 years. Most reports, however, fail in showing the impact of these demographic elements of child maltreatment.

Programs should be integrated to ensure that an appropriate mechanism is developed to curb child abuse with a lasting impact among the risk groups in the United States Cities. Researchers have found so far that the best approach needs to be comprehensive and involving. In some states, such programs have been run by application of crisis preventions and education approaches among in the communities. The programs, additionally, should involve the community, families, victims and other possible vulnerable groups. However, monitoring and evaluations should be carried out to assess their impacts in the society.

References

Baatz, S. (2008). For the Thrill of it: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder that Shocked Chicago. New York: HarperCollins.

Bartholet, E., Wulczyn, F., Barth, P., & Lederman, C. (2011). Race and Child Welfare. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Benjamin, R. (2011). National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness. New York: DIANE Publishing.

Daro, D. (2010). Child Abuse Prevention: A Job Half Done. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Daro, D., & Dodge, K. (2009). Creating Community responsibility for Child Protection: Possibilities and Challenges. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

English, D.J., Graham, C.J., Newton, R., R., Lewis, T., Thompson, R., Kotch, J., & Weisbart, C. (2012). At-Risk and Maltreated Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Aggression/Violence: What the Conflict Looks Like and Its Relationship to Child Outcomes Child Maltreat. Web.

Palusci, V.J., & Ondersman, S.J. (2012). Child Maltreat, Services and Recurrence After Psychological Maltreatment Confirmed by Child Protective Services. Web.

Ryan, J. P. (2012). Substitute Care in Child Welfare and the Risk of Arrest: Does the Reason for Placement Matter? Child Maltreat. Web.

Sedlak, J., Mettenburg, J., Basena, M., McPherson, K., Green, A., & Li, S. (2010). Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4): Report to congress, Executive Summery. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Human Service, Administration for Children and Families.

Siegel, L. J. (2012). Criminology: Theories, Patterns, and Typologies. New York: Cengage Learning.

Valentino, K., Nuttall, A. K., Comas, M., Borkowski, J.G., & Akai, C.E. (2012). Intergenerational Continuity of Child Abuse Among Adolescent Mothers: Authoritarian Parenting, Community Violence, and Race, Child Maltreat. Web.

Wulczyn, F., Ernest, M., & Fisher, P. (2011). Who Are the Infants in Out-of-Home Care? Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.