As a former practicing social worker, the first issue that must be addressed to enhance a child's well-being is the safety of the child. In some instances this may result in the removal from the home or having the child and parent relocate to a safer situation. Parents are provided with therapeutic intervention in anger management, parenting classes, and other supports in an effort to assist the parent in getting the child back, but into a healthier home situation.
Some parents may not have the skills necessary to understand the needs of a child. For example, a couple may feed their child chips and cookies and not expose the child to foods that provide plenty of nutrients. Parents may need to be taught these skills, so classes on nutrition through programs such as WIC could be provided to improve the parent's ability to meet the child's nutritional needs.
If the problem is lack of money to purchase food, the family can be referred for food stamps. A parent may have trouble controlling his or her temper. If the situation is not volatile, the parent can be referred for counseling. In some cases, the child may need to be removed from the home while the parent learns the skills to manage his or her emotions. The child can also be provided with therapy.
Exposure to drug use or alcoholism in the home or the making of a substance, such as Meth, can place a child in harm's way. In many cases, the parent is addicted to drugs and can be referred for treatment. The goal would be for the parent to go into recovery and change his or her behavior.
Most parents give birth to their child with the intent to meet the child's needs. In some cases, many obstacles can get in the way. A parent who is mentally ill may need support from a private agency that monitors the home and provides assistance to the parent. If a parent has a child with a disability, the parent may need services from the outside to meet the child's needs. A CAP worker, who goes into the child's home setting to perform services in the home or community, may be needed to assist in caring for the child and teaching the child skills.
Other situations that factor into a child's development can relate to family economics, instability in the home, the parent's mental capability, violence in the home, sickness of a parent, lack of employment, and environmental conditions. Low-income families are referred to specialized day care that provides the developing child with programs that address developmental growth. Programs provide children with specialized services in the home or community for speech or other developmental delays. Parents can be instructed during the sessions on how to assist their child.
The government established "Child Find" to assist in locating children under three who are considered at risk of not meeting adequate developmental growth. The program establishes the needs of the child and the parent and puts services in place to address those needs.