As significant social and economic challenges exponentially increase, child welfare is at a critical point. The main problems children face include HIV/AIDS, starvation and malnutrition, as well as racial, religious, cultural, and ethical issues. Gangs are also a concern because of skyrocketing crimes in major cities.
In the United States, the most common form of HIV transmission among children is through mother to child transmission. The trend is common for children under the age of 13 years. HIV antibody tests are recommended to ascertain the infection for this group of children. Teenagers are also at considerable risk of infection because 7 per cent of teenagers in the U.S. are living with HIV. The infections have been linked with increased inappropriate sexual behaviors among the youth. Sex education has been proposed to be included in the learning institutions to address the issue.
Starvation and Malnutrition
The World Health Organization estimates that 45 per cent of children under the age of 5 years die due to malnutrition and starvation. The deaths mostly occur in undeveloped and developing countries (Dubowitz & DePanfilis, 2000). As such, some families have exposed their children to forced labor, as an avenue for getting food. Additionally, war-torn countries such as Yemen have a higher risk of children dying out of starvation.
Racial, Religious, Cultural, and Ethical Concern in Children
Race, religion, culture, and ethics greatly influence beliefs and values for children in different settings. For instance, child health care is negatively affected because of the impact of culture and religion in most families (Haskins, Wulczyn, & Webb, 2007). Additionally, cases of negligence have been reported in schools, which have been attributed to racial discrimination against children. However, the implementation of policies that favor children has significantly reduced the mayhem.
Gangs share a collective identity and are involved in criminal activities. The recent trend indicates that children have been recruited into groups in their early ages. Due to peer pressure, most children find themselves connected to a gang; hence, they are exposed to violence, drugs, and inappropriate sexual behavior. Areas with levels of gang activities is a risk factor that contributes to children joining gangs. The safety of children will depend on the actions that parents and guardians take in monitoring the behavior of their children.
Children are vulnerable and great care should be taken when handling their issues. Some of the challenges which significantly affect children include HIV/AIDS, religious, racial and cultural orientation, starvation and malnutrition. Risk factors should be effectively assessed to determine the impact of these problems which exist in the society. It is evident that the challenges have negative consequences. Nonetheless, measures should be put in place to reduce the effect of these factors.
Dubowitz, H., & DePanfilis, D. (2000). Handbook for child protection practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Haskins, R., Wulczyn, F., & Webb, M. B. (2007). Child protection: Using research to improve policy and practice. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution Press.