REPORT Essay Example

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Assessment 2: Family Assessment Report: Child рrоtесtiоn issues

Table of Contents


3Brief family background

4Evidence-informed assessment of Care and Protection Factors present

4Drug abuse

5Prostitution- Sexual assault

6Child neglect





Child protection is very essential because of the increased cases of child abuse in the society. Many children are subjected to child abuse behind the doors whereby they go through neglect, sexual abuse, and physical abuse. In Australia, the issue of children being raised by mothers who neglect them, engage in prostitution, drug abuse, and domestic violence are many. Because of such cases, child protection and proper parenting are not applied in the lives of the victims. This paper seeks to assess the issues of child protection and real life care. The paper is based on the role of a practitioner or a caseworker in the child and family field of practice. The paper reflects on a film “Polly and Me,” which shows how kids are at risk through an experience of eight years girl staying with her mother. The film issues are analysed according to the literature based on child abuse and child protection issues.

Brief family background

The eight years old girl is raised by her mother who is 23 years. The mother is single and due to lack of employment; she receives a parenting payment and government job seeker’s benefit. The mother is an orphan, owns a care, and does not have any contact with her family. Despite her desire to get some help, she does not know any source of help. The daughter being the only child in the house stays and plays with her doll, Polly and does not have relatives, such as grandparents to visit neither does she manage to get out to play with other kids. The daughter does not attend school. The family has lived in one apartment for 2 years where the mother pays rent on regular basis.

Evidence-informed assessment of Care and Protection Factors present

The film “Polly and Me” identifies the girl watching her mother sliding into the world of drug abuse and addiction, and prostitution.

Drug abuse

It is evident that the mother is drug addicted because she always has a cigarette to smoke or other drugs to take in the house in front of the daughter. According to the argument put forth by Laslett, Room, Dietze, and Ferris (2012) alcoholism and drug abuse is a major issue in the society, which is majorly practiced by those people with life issues such as poverty, isolation, unemployment, and neglected families. In this film, the mother is an orphan, unemployed and single mother. Being in such situation, she tries to avoid depression by taking drugs. The mother is weak physically and seems not to have sober mind, which is evident from how she conducts herself in front of the daughter when men come in the house. Volkow, Wang, Fowler, Tomasi, and Telang, (2011) articulate that drug taking leads to physical and mental health problems. Drug use and addiction highly affect the user’s physical and mental health in that the blood flow changes because of the drug content, thus making the body be weak and loose the appropriate nutrients for body development.

As postulated by Mithoefer, Wagner, Mithoefer, Jerome, Martin, Yazar-Klosinski, and Doblin, (2012), drug use affects the physical health of the user from the brain whereby the brain functionality is disrupted because of continued flooding of the chemical in the brain. As emphasized by Battams, and Roche (2011), drug abuse can be suggestive of poor mental health because drug addicts do not operate normally in their minds compared to people who do not take drugs. Laslett, Room, Ferris, Wilkinson, Livingston, and Mugavin, (2011) add that drug abuse and addiction leads to various physical effects, such as abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, brain damage, and stroke. It also leads to respiratory problems comprising of breathing problem, emphysema, lung cancer, and heart attack, as well as heart rate irregularities. Battams and Roche (2011) identify other physical effects of drug abuse such as contraction of hepatitis, HIV, and other diseases, as well as liver and kidney damage. Additionally, Norman, Byambaa, De, Butchart, Scott, and Vos, (2012) identifies sleeping patterns, body temperature, and problems of appetite as other physical effects of drug addiction. It is evident that the mother does not have an appetite because she is not seen cooking of eating from the house. The mother is also beaten carelessly by men who are also drug addicts, thus continued weakening of her body.

The mental problems associated with drug addiction and many cravings of the alcohol; are identified by Rowe (2012), like confusion, hallucinations, the urge to be involved in risky behaviour, wild mood changes, violence, paranoia, anxiety, depression, mental illness, and pressure about life. Richards (2011) agrees with the authors and identifies other psychological effects of drug abuse as psychological tolerance to the effects of drug use, thus the generation of aspiration to take continued and increased amounts of the particular drug. In the film, the mother engages in prostitution, which might be as a result of drug addiction. She lives a confused life, where she does not have time for her daughter and seems to experience mood swings. The mother also engages in violent cases with men who come to the house and who even rape her as the daughter watches and hears. It is evident that the mother has decreased pleasure in daily life, and that is why she declines to takethe daughter to picnics despite the invitations.

Prostitution- Sexual assault

The mother engages in prostitution life, which might be triggered by her background of being an orphan, unemployed, isolated from relatives, and the habit of taking drugs. Bringing men in the house, engaging in sexual intercourse, and being raped and regularly bashed in the presence of the daughter is a sexual assault to the daughter. Stalker and McArthur, (2012) states that when people engage in bad behaviour being watched by kids, the kids tend to be affected by the behaviour indirectly whereby they learn the behaviour and might practice it in the future. Moyer (2013) articulates that children copy from their parents and tend to behave in the same way as the parents do. Laslett, Ferris, Dietze, and Room, (2012) add that parent easily influences the child’s behavior because of being close to them, thus learning many things from them. Fallon, Chabot, Fluke, Blackstock, MacLaurin, and Tonmyr, (2013) identify that many youths engage in drug use because of the family influence. In this film, the mother’s prostitution habit is a risk to the daughter’s life based on the fact she observes everything done by the mother, and since she does not go to school, the daughter might engage in prostitution in future. It is important for parents to offer the relevant protection needed by their children. Gilbert, Fluke, O’Donnell, Gonzalez-Izquierdo, Brownell, Gulliver, and Sidebotham, (2012) state that parents should offer care and protection to their children rather than neglecting their children.

Child neglect

The mother goes every night, sleeps during the day, and has time for men, but have no time with her daughter, thus child neglect. Domestic violence expressed towards the mother is a child maltreatment issue towards the daughter. Men coming in the house beat the mother in front of the daughter. Being raised in such a family leads to the development of fear to the daughter who is seen under the table when the mother is fighting with a man and quarrelling around as they even overturn tables in the process of the fight (Symes, 2011). As articulated by Sousa, Herrenkohl, Moylan, Tajima, Klika, Herrenkohl, and Russo, (2011), domestic violence affects children indirectly, whereby it leads to fear and anxiety, as well as other psychological issues. The family lives a poor life because the mother is not employed but looks for some earnings at night and receives some aids through parenting payment and government job seeker’s benefit. This is an indicator of connection between child abuse and poverty. Spann, Mayes, Kalmar, Guiney, Womer, Pittman, and Blumberg, (2012) identify that poverty-related child abuse is extreme and very common in the Australian society whereby out of poverty, parents tend to neglect their children as they look for a living. The daughter is helpless since she only stays inside the house, eats what is offered by the mother, and does not interact with other kids (Thomas, & Zimmer‐Gembeck, 2011).

The daughter does not go to school but only plays with her Doll, “Polly.” All the daughter does is to talk to her doll, take care of it, and offer all the necessary services to the doll because she does not have company in the house, and her mother warns her from going outside to the playfield to play with other kids. It is evident that the girls desire to play from outside as she watches through the window and sees other children in the neighborhood playing happily with their parents (Mills, Alati, O’Callaghan, Najman, Williams, Bor, & Strathearn, 2011). Because of poverty and mother’s behaviour, the child cannot afford to go to school at the age of eight. As identified by Francis, Chapman, Sellick, James, Miles, Jones, and Grant (2012), children have the right to go to school and learn but not being left to stay at home, which prevents them from achieving their life goals and dreams. The daughter has dreams of a better life that is beyond the wall, which is proven by how she offers healthcare to her doll meaning that she desires to be a nurse. However, not being taken to school prevents her from achieving her desires. Habetha, Bleich, Weidenhammer, and Fegert, (2012) argue that child play is very important for the child’s good health and bodily growth and development. According to Raman, Holdgate, and Torrens, (2012), children develop mentally, physically, and emotionally when they are allowed to live a happy life and interact with other kids.


According to the film “Polly and Me,” the family is living a poor life. The mother is not employed and does not have places to get help despite her effort of looking for help. The family relies on parenting payment and government job seeker’s benefit offered by the Australian government, which is not enough to meet all the expenses including payment of rent, food, school fees for the daughter, and other expenses. It is evident that there is a strong connection between poverty and child abuse. The mother neglects the daughter because of trying to look for a living. In addition, the mother engages in drug abuse because of poverty and feeling of being isolated since she is an orphan and has no relatives to offer some support. The mother also engages in prostitution as a means of raising some money to cater for her life and that of the daughter. Being in prostitution makes the mother to face domestic violence since the men coming to her apartment beats her up and rapes her, which traumatizes the daughter when the fight becomes more violent. It is clear that due to mother’s drug addiction, the mother does not take care of the daughter since she does not cook for her because of the mother’s loss of appetite. Drug abuse is associated with various physical and mental problems, such as confusion, poor sleep, and lack of pleasure about daily life.


Battams, S., & Roche, A. (2011). Child wellbeing and protection concerns and the response of the alcohol and other drugs sector in Australia. Advances in Mental Health, 10(1), 62-71.

Fallon, B., Chabot, M., Fluke, J., Blackstock, C., MacLaurin, B., & Tonmyr, L. (2013). Placement decisions and disparities among Aboriginal children: Further analysis of the Canadian incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect part A: Comparisons of the 1998 and 2003 surveys. Child abuse & neglect, 37(1), 47-60.

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Laslett, A. M., Room, R., Dietze, P., & Ferris, J. (2012). Alcohol’s involvement in recurrent child abuse and neglect cases. Addiction, 107(10), 1786-1793.

Laslett, A. M., Room, R., Ferris, J., Wilkinson, C., Livingston, M., & Mugavin, J. (2011). Surveying the range and magnitude of alcohol’s harm to others in Australia. Addiction, 106(9), 1603-1611.

Mills, R., Alati, R., O’Callaghan, M., Najman, J. M., Williams, G. M., Bor, W., & Strathearn, L. (2011). Child abuse and neglect and cognitive function at 14 years of age: Findings from a birth cohort. Pediatrics, 127(1), 4-10.

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The Strengths and Stressors Ver. 2 (Berry, 2009) assessment tool for this case study/story issues

Child protection issues


The apartment where the mother and the daughter live is small and deserted.

The home is not an efficient living environment for the child because of domestic violence, mother being beaten and raped by men in front of the daughter, and the mother taking her drugs from the house.

Child protection issues 1

Social Support

No social support since the child stays in the house with no children to play with or relatives to visit

Child protection issues 2


The mother does not offer the necessary care to the daughter

No education and time for the daughter

Child protection issues 3

Child well-being

The child is at risk of child abuse in the form of domestic violence, sexual assault, and drug abuse conducted by the mother, and child neglect