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Assessment of Community-Level Barriers: Abused Individuals

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 1957 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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 Within the special population, many barriers interfere with receiving adequate healthcare assistance for abused individuals. It is important to identify these service barriers within the special population, in which for the special population to receive assistance. Once the identification of the barriers for domestic violence victims are recognized, then the strategic prevention and intervention plan to decrease domestic violence within the United States can be successfully implemented. Many projects within communities could be arranged, in which to prevent and decrease domestic violence. One implementation that would help prevent and decrease domestic violence; is to get the community leaders, educators, health care organization, and religious organizations involved in which to educate their community and surrounding communities about the health and legal risk that involve domestic violence. Another is to develop and improve the educators’ skills on child abuse, in which for the educators to recognize abuse and teach the children about abuse. The educators are able to educate the children about child abuse and give the children hand out information about child abuse in which for the children to give to their parents. By doing so, this will help educate the community about child abuse. This is a good way to get the information out to the parents; about the services that are available within the community for parenting skills; this will help prevent child abuse. Physicians and other health care providers are also responsible to help prevent child abuse. When a child goes to visit their physicians or other health care providers, the physicians or health care providers can also educate the children and their parents on child abuse, by handing out pamphlets on child abuse prevention, with resources within the community for parenting services. This is a way to help prevent child abuse within many low-income communities. Domestic violence is part of the special population within the United States. There is a need for preventive measures in which to eliminate and/or decrease domestic violence. It is the community leaders such as the church leaders, other religious organization, counsel men and women’s’ responsibility to ensure that there are services available within the communities to educate on prevention of domestic violence. Church leaders and other religious organizations can counsel and educate married couples, engaged couples (dating couples), teens, and parents on domestic violence, and hand out pamphlets containing healthcare literature facts on domestic violence dangers to one heath to their congregation. The elderly population is another group vulnerable group that faces abuse. Abuse within the nursing homes, by the caregivers, and by family members. The elderly are most likely not report their abusers because of fear, embarrassment, and the authorities will not believe them. There is a great need for developing and improving the skills of the nurses, physicians, and legal authorities on recognizing the signs of elderly abuse. With the training on elderly abuse, the healthcare providers and authorities will be able to assist the elderly victims. Within the communities, if a family member is abusing an elderly person it is necessary for the community to get involved and report the abuse to the authorities. Bringing awareness to the communities will decrease abuse to the elderly population. Social workers assigned to the elderly population need additional training in which to recognize the signs of abuse within the elderly population. Social workers are to be mandatory to make house, nursing homes, retirement homes visits to ensure that the elderly are receiving proper healthcare. These preventive measures can be implemented in which to prevent and intervene in abusive situations.          

Child Abuse

 When child abuse goes unrecognized within the schools or healthcare industry, the abused children become more vulnerable to additional abuse from their abusers. Children are not able to protect themselves from their abusers; the children rely on other adults such as social workers, educators, physicians, nurses, etc. in which to help them. Children do not have money in which to relocate, so they rely on the authorities such as the Child Protective Services in which to remove them from an abusive household. The Child Protective Service recognize child abuse cases in which to intervene and protect the children from their abusers. However, it is imperative that other adult authorities such as educators and health care providers are trained in which to identifying symptoms of abused children. Educators interact with children on a daily basis; the educators are responsible for recognizing systems of child abuse. Thus, adequate training among educators regarding child abuse, need additional developing and improving, in which for the educators to intervene by recognizing and reporting child abuse to the authorities. Other professionals are also responsible for intervention and reporting child abuse. Such as physicians and professional medical staff members (nurses, caregivers, etc.). Physicians and professional medical staff members are responsible for reporting child abuse to the authorities when they see and recognize child abuse during a child’s physical examination. With a properly trained professional healthcare staff in recognizing child abuse. The professional members are able to recognize the symptoms of child abuse. With the doctors and/or medical staff members’ involvement in abuse cases, the healthcare professionals should not hesitate in reporting any alleged child abuse cases, intervention could save many children’s lives.

Domestic Violence

 Domestic violence victims are another special population that is need of assistance with barriers to face. It is important to recognize the barriers within the community in which for the victims of domestic violence to receive assistance. According to Loring and Smith (1994), identifying service barriers is important in developing strategies for intervention. Domestic violence is an act of violence, rather physical, psychological, and/or financial. Unlike child abuse, an adult cannot be removed from his/her home by force by a social worker. According to Burkholder and Nash (2013), social workers from Adult Protective Services (APS) cannot forcibly remove an adult who does not want to leave or declines to leave for fear of retribution from the abuser. The criminal justice system does offer the abused victims some protection from their abuser by issuing a restraining order or order of protection. However, these sort of protection orders are good to have in place, but the orders do not always keep the victims safe from their abusers. Some victims have been murdered by their abusers while the protection orders were in place. This is why it is important that communities are made aware of the dangers of domestic violence and how to prevent domestic violence. With the community leaders, religious organizations, educators, and healthcare organizations getting involved in giving out information about the services that are available to this special population will help to prevent and decrease domestic violence cases. Instead of focusing on the aspects of domestic violence abuse the community leaders should focus more on prevention and decreasing domestic violence.

Elderly Abuse

 There is a need for additional training among the Adult Protective Service (APS) for the elderly. The APS must gain the understanding on how aging influences the elderly population and create barriers. According to Bergeron (2000), APS practitioners must understand the impact of age of physical, social, and emotional and well-being of the elderly population. Within the elderly population, some are suffering from chronical illnesses which create barriers that make it difficult for the elderly to escape from their abusers, defend themselves, and/ or call for help. The other barrier that makes it difficult within the elderly population is that they are isolated from their social capital and will find it hard to trust strangers within their homes, and the elderly find it difficult to accept services. The law generally considers incapacity or vulnerableness to suggest a client’s inability to defend, access help, verbally articulate concerns or being so emotionally dependent that while not rendering the person incompetent, complicates his or her ability to prevent abuse (Bergeron, 2000). The laws for elderly abuse need to clear and not with vague terms in which to leave refinement of the definition up to individual state policies, individual regional or district offices, or individual workers within the elderly abuse protection system.


 Many of the community programs, which help abused victims, are underfunded, and the organizations rely on grants and donation in which to remain operational.  Social policy and welfare state researchers give less attention to the role that Medicaid plays in funding of social services programs assisting low-income populations outside the formal health care system (Smith and Rathgeb, 2014).  Social services, which are community-based and non-profit, can assist the abuse population with an array of services such as job training, adult education, counseling, temporary emergency food or cash assistance. The nonprofit social organization had become important within the special population. It is known that Medicaid reimbursements are prominent sources for funding nonprofit social service providers.  Medicaid is shifting some of the financial burdens to the government in which to eliminate financial barriers for the social service programs. According to Smith and Rathgeb ( 2014), Medicaid reimburses state-certified nonprofit organizations for a variety of social services that states choose to provide as part of their Medicaid program(eg. drug and alcohol treatment, mental health counseling, home care, and community care). Reimbursements are available only for low-income Medicaid –eligible individuals as defined by the federal government and state. 


  • Bergeron, R. L. (2000).  Servicing the Needs of Elderly Abuse Victims.  Policy and Practice of Public Human Services, 58(3), 40-45.  Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu
  • Burkholder, D. M., and Nash, N. B. (2013). Special population in healthcare [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu
  • Loring, M. T., & Smith, R. W. (1994). Health care barriers and interventions for battered women. Public Health Reports, 109(3), 328–338. Retrieved from Public Health Reports: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Rönnberg, Ann-Kristin and Hammarström, Anne. (2000). Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 28(3), 222-229. doi:10.1080/140349400444931.  Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu
  • Smith, Scott W., and Rathgeb, Steven. (2014). Unforeseen Consequences: Medicaid and the Funding of Nonprofit Service Organizations.  Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 39(6), 1135-1172. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu


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