Some children may need foster place or adoption services to be able to live in safe homes. Counseling, anger, and behavioral services will also need to be provided for abused children in placement services. Sometimes services are provided to the whole family to help them make changes in the home where children can be safe at home with their families.
It is also necessary for a social worker to understand the different programs that social work provides and the population of people they are provided to. There are counseling programs that meet different needs of different populations, such as family counseling, abuse counseling, behavior counseling, addiction programs, or anger management groups. For instance, if a child has been abused, they could be full of anger and need the anger management group to assist them in learning how to deal with the anger that stems from the abusive situations they encountered. They may have also started taking drugs to relieve the mental anguish from the abuse and also need the addiction program to help them learn to cope without the drugs.
Because abused children often engage in anger-based behaviors and attitudes, they may also need to engage in behavior therapy to assist them in adjusting to a life without the abuse. It is common for an abused child to have a victim mentality, which causes problems in other areas of their lives. It can also cause learning disabilities that would need to be addressed. They may be having difficulty dealing with bullies in school. Some abused children fight more in school and society because of the anger being uncontrollable and not knowing how to deal with it in proper manners. Abuse causes depression that can also bring other issues with children if not treated. They may need to learn how to be a part of society in positive ways. Because abuse brings a negative mind set, they may need to learn how to think in positive manners to understand that everything in society and around them is not bad, that there really are good people in life and life itself can be better. Some children have gone through so much abuse, they really do not understand the positives in life and do not know how to have fun and enjoy the good things in life. They learn manipulative behaviors that also need to be addressed.
Some of the youth will offend themselves and will need offender services to turn their life around. Youth who offend themselves have learned behaviors that need to be addressed where the youth can learn positive behaviors to replace the offensive behavior. They have a need to learn and understand that two wrongs do not make a negative behavior right. These youth are often victims themselves with a long family history of abuse. In these situations, the whole family needs help to learn other paths from what they were taught from previous generations. Some social workers call this the taboos in families. They are often ordered and demanded by previous generations to not talk about the issues period, not even among themselves. This makes it difficult for the youth to be open in counseling sessions and honest with a social worker. It also makes the social worker's job harder because the social worker has to build the trust with the youth first in order to begin to reach them in positive ways for them to begin to learn positive behaviors.
Social workers also work with the whole families to resolve issues and make changes in the home to redirect the entire family on positive paths. Abused families have difficulty working with each other in regards to chores, communication, and just having fun as a family. The children may be resentful toward mom for not protecting them from the abuse and not understanding that mom was abused as well, or really not understanding the whole picture. This situation causes them to mistrust and act out in negative behaviors. These families need help in achieving family duties, communication, building trust with each other, and just learning to spend time and have fun as a family.