HUS3605 Child Welfare and Family Services

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  • Session 1 History of Child Welfare in the US
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    • This topic was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by Gretta.


    Astor Services: I watched a video documenting peoples different experiences with Astor Services and how it helped them with their children. The families in this video seemed quite thankful that they had access to such a great agency. Astor Services helps children with mental health issues; by providing them with child welfare services, and early childhood development programs.

    The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson: This video went into some of the details from Mary’s abusive childhood and how she was saved by Henry Bergh on April 9th, 1874. Listening to a young Mary Ellen at the beginning of this video gave me the chills and forced me to really consider the population I would like to serve as a Human Service professional.

    Cross-Cultural Skills: In general, it is important to respect the differences in life-styles and cultural backgrounds. As a Human Service professional, having cross-cultural skills will allow you to understand and respect your clients/team.



    Astor Services: Astor Services for Children & Families is a non- profit organization that provides children with mental health services and child welfare services and early childhood development programs. In the video they interviewed two families and talked about their experience with Astor and staff. Both families seem very happy and grateful for their help.

    Mary Ellen Wilson Case: The video started with a small clip of Mary Ellen Wilson speaking about her childhood abuse experience from her mama. hearing her story made me very sad for the little girl having to have to deal with so much abuse and never experience any love of affection. Mary Ellen Wilson was rescued April 9, 1874.



    1) Astor Services- The video i watched was very interesting how motivated the clients are and the staff are about the organization. Astor, help and focuses more on family and children to help them over come there challenges from any were to ,childcare to economical statues and education;and any fundamental resource and can help the client excel. The organization works one-on-one to make sure the client is satisfied and successful and the client also feel support but , at the same time in charge of there own progress.

    2)Cross-cultural skills: This topic and practice is extremely important in a human service professional ethical back round because you don’t want to stereotype anyone. Also, it is healthy to familiarize your self with different back round to respect one-anthers believes and history and how you can help them without offending them and there personal space. Lastly, this mechanism help you build a strong professional relationship with your client and trust .

    3)Mary Ellen case- This case had me feeling a mix of emotions, due to parent neglecting her child. The abuse was extreme from hygiene problems to having extreme limitations as a child. Ellen is a hero in this case she didn’t stop trying to help the little girl, she team worked in order to success in the rescue. Mary Ellen would and is a perfect example on why its important to work had and stand up for what you believe is right.



    The Mary Ellen Wilson Case: I found it pretty interesting that the abuse Mary Wilson suffered was so great that the social worker(Etta Wheeler) who was instrumental in rescuing Mary was hearing stories from Mary’s neighbors about how horrific the abuse was. Mary’s neighbors hardly ever even saw the child and only could hear her screams when she was beaten. It is also kind of baffling to see that there was an organization to prevent cruelty to animals before there was a such an organization for children and the fact that Mary had to be rescued under the condition that she was an animal is just, there’s really no word that can cover it. it just makes me mad.

    Astor Services: From what i learned from the video i watched it seems like Astor’s primary focus is providing early childhood services for children so they can grow up to be functioning members of society. What seemed interesting to me is that it appears that they still follow up with their clients even after several years. Astor services also looks like they help children grow and develop social skills. one child went from being and introvert and quiet to outgoing and talkative. Another child had a lot of anger issues but he learned there are socially acceptable ways of dealing with his anger.



    Astor- I really felt like people were genuinely caring towards the children. They seemed interactive with the children and its nice to see the testimonies of parents also. This has helped the parents as well as the rest of the family members to understand what a child feels and needs to make a transition smoother.

    Mary Ellen- Just hearing the way Mary Ellen talked about her mother and how she just recalls it so easily. As i hear it, it just gets me upset that a little girl could bear so much pain. I’m so glad she was rescued and that kind people do exist. If Etta would of given up then only one knows what more pain Mary Ellen would of had to endure. I’m so happy this was a happy ending, sadly their isn’t one always everywhere.



    Astor Services: The video featured comments made by the staff and family members of clients of Astor Services. The video began with staff members stating the mission and desires of the agency. The staff members were able to recall the progress and accomplishment made by the clients as a result to the program. Family members of the clients also gave their input on the program and how the program and staff has made a positive impact in their lives. The staff members seemed motivated to work with the children and help the family members every step of the way. The family members seemed extremely grateful of the efforts of the staff of Astor Services. Thus, based on the comments made by staff members and family members of clients, I believe Astor Services is successful in providing quality earyl childhood services.
    Mery Ellen Wilson Case: The video began with Mery Ellen Wilson describing her abusive experiences, which I found to be extremely upsetting. I was a little surprised to find out that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was behind her rescue. I was astonished that laws protecting children did not exist during the ninteteenth century. In addition, the video allowed me to reflect on modern day issues revolving around child cruelty. Mery Ellen was abused by her mother and did not live in a safe environment. A number of children today have similar experiences to Merry Ellen. Fortunately, child protection laws have been implemented during the 20th century. However, children continue to be treated terribly despite the laws. It is extremely important that we act as advocates for children who are abused by becoming a voice for them. Thus, the story of Mery Ellen raises awareness of child cruelty.


    Yessenia bautista

    Cross Cultural Skills:

    Cross- cultural skills are important in the human service field as Sheryl Brissett Chapman mentioned. An intersectional perspective and approach allows us to target the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations. In order to support these populations, its important to include their narrative and cultural background. In order to do so, we must recognize our personal biases and stereotypes in a population.

    Family Rights:

    This article made me self-reflect on how far we’ve come in terms of laws amongst the LGBT+ community. However, it also shows how far away we are from acheiving the goal of equity amongst this population with marriage and children. It is shocking to note that it is illegal in some states for same-sex couples to adopt. In the United States alone, there are millions of children who are in need of a home. I’m interested in reading the research done amongst same- sex couples compared to heterosexual couples.


    Crystal Mordiglia

    The Mary Ellen Wilson Case
    What strikes me most about this story is that there was no child protective agency at this time and that the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued this little girl (along with Etta wheeler). Happy to know the ASPCA existed at that time but it’s a shame that animals had rights and protection before women and children did. With that being said, I wonder where Mary’s father was. I only heard her mention abuse from her “mama”. Where was daddy? Abuse is never justifiable but I’m curious to know what drove her mother to be so abusive. What kind of help could Mary’s mother have gotten at that time? On another thought, it’s amazing what we as human beings are capable of-good and evil. ONE persons actions (or lack there of) can dramatically change the outcomes of another’s present and future, especially during childhood!

    Astor Services for children and families
    This agency focuses on giving children and their families the support they need to live a happy, healthy life. Investing in our children today will make for a brighter future tomorrow. This agency is great because it satisfies Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (self-actualization, esteem, love/belonging, safety, physiological).



    Astor Services: After exploring their website and learning more about them, I really admire the organization. It makes me feel good knowing there is a place in NY for children who are struggling with mental health issues, or needing education support, or just needing support in general. I feel like Astor place is really making a difference and is such a powerful organization. After reading a few of their stats, it touches my heart to see how many children and families they helped over the years.

    Mary Ellen Wilson: Personally, it was so hard for me to listen to her story. It pains me knowing their are children out there suffering from abuse and nothing is happening. Children are our future and as a society, we need to do a better job at taking care of them and making sure they are on the right path. The only good thing about listening to this was knowing she was rescued. Not all people are evil but even the good ones are scared to do good sometimes. It’s nice knowing their are people out their willing to help and do justice for our children. It is sad that Mary Ellen is able to tell her story so easily. If it was me, it would be traumatic and super painful.


    Sandra Jusme

    I read the case “Merry Ellen Wilson” it was about a young child that did not know much about the outside world. She did not know who she was. Her mother kept her in and kept on abusing her. While I was watching it my heart melted. I say this because she was so young and did not deserve to go through what she was going through. When they saved her finally it was a beautiful thing. I wonder what they did with the mother. I also saw that she had 2 daughters and also got married which is also beautiful because what she went through could have damaged her.

    -Sandra Jusme


    David Coq

    Every child deserves excellent care and child growth services for adolescents and their families in the least constricting background and at the earliest conceivable opinion of involvement. Astor operates a widespread variety of community-based and residential interactive health treatment platforms as well as early juvenile development and parenting programs at multiple locations serving thousands of children each year, not including family members, and the demand keeps growing.

    Mary Ellen Case: I am reading the story now, and my heart goes out to this child as well as children today, that we do not even know. Things happens today we do not even know about, maybe someone that reads this and knows someone will give help to the child. Childrens Rights, voices and opinions do matter as well !!! Mary Ellen was an orphan and unfortunately had to receive harsh treatment from her adoptive mother because of the pain and hurt she felt in her life because of being a widow. How much our society values its children can be measured by how well they are treated and protected and we must remember that



    Astor Video

    Judging by the video, it seems that the Astor Organization has the client’s best interest at heart. They seem motivated to help the children grow and be ready to learn when they go to school. The Staff also seem to be happy when they see that they had made a change in a child’s life. This makes me very happy. Jayla’s story was very touching to me because I know a lot of children that grow up shy and always stay in a corner and I got to see how this program made her grow and more outgoing. I hope Astor continues to do their best to help children.

    Cross-cultural skills

    In the human services field culture competence is so important because we are constantly working with people that are different than us. We will never have clients of only our background so I agree with this article in its totality. It is important to know and be willing to learn about different cultures so that misunderstandings don’t happen. An example of this would be, in America it is normal to look people in the eyes when talking to them. However in another country/culture it can be a sign of disrespect.

    Mary Ellen case

    Hearing that child speak at the beginning made me shed a tear. Mary at such an early age was being abused and neglected without being able to do anything about it. I am so glad that the neighbors were able to tell Ellen about it and didn’t just stay quiet about it. Ellen is a hero for not stopping in trying to help the little girl. Ellen is the perfect example of what a human service worker should be like. Doing whatever it takes to help the person that’s in need.



    The Orphan Train
    I would like to lend commentary to the video we saw in class entitled “The Orphan Train”.
    What stood out to me the most was how time has gone by and some things remain the same.
    In this movie the children were cleaned up and put on display for prospective “foster parents” to decide whether they will become parents for them. Today in foster care I have went to functions such as this. These events are not as blatant as that of the “platform” display in the orphan train, but I imagine the children that were not chosen felt the same rejection as the youth that I work with on a daily basis. There are events such as the “heart gallery” and even Wednesday’s child, that display children in the brightest of lights in hopes that a family will be found. I am not saying this is a bad thing, I am only noting the similarity.
    Also, it was interesting to find out that as it was then so it is now; youth are still being abused within a “system” that is supposed to protect and provide for them.



    Mary Ellen Wilson
    The first case to establish laws for children against child abuse. How interesting it was to learn that there were laws for the cruelty of animals and not to children. The fact that a neighbor would have to fight to have this child recognized as being in danger. Animals were protected but not children.
    It is interesting to see how the laws we have today were formed and reshaped over the years. We have gone from the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, to the Administration of Children’s Services. Different name, but the goal is the same. To prevent what Mary Ellen went through; imprisonment, not being able to go outside, beaten, burned and scarred. Not receiving the love and bonding that children need. Today, Ms. Wheeler would just need to make a phone call, and emergency child services would respond. It is unfortunate what Mary Ellen went through, nonetheless, her case changed the welfare for children forever.

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