Social Work Essay

Social work and human services

Q1.Evaluation of the effectiveness of “just say no” teen pregnancy prevention programs

The US federal government has for the past several decades directed most of its funding towards sex education with a greater emphasis on abstinence before marriage. However, recent research on the effectiveness of this program has revealed a rise in the rate of teenage pregnancies and STIs in the same age group (Faiaz, 2008). The abstinence-only initiative is riddled with inconsistencies based on the demands of communities and public health (Faiaz, 2008). This begs the need for widening the scope of the sex education program. Proposed alternatives to the abstinence-only program have been to radically change in program’s curriculum while fostering partnerships between parents, health caregivers, and the teachers.


Q2. Stresses faced by foster parents versus stresses faced by foster children

            One of the main cause of stress that foster parents face is how to deal with a foster child’s complex behaviors and special needs. Since the parents may not be well-versed with the biological background of the child adopted, the behavior may turn out to be violent in nature, sexual or even an antisocial child (Chamberlain, Moreland, & Reid,1992). Relating to these children may prove to be challenging as behavior management is often a skill that most foster parents do not possess.  On the other hand, foster children face stresses related to complex and disturbing emotional issues which may range from feelings of guilt, feeling of rejection by biological parents and mixed feelings about their foster parents.

Q3.Childhood adverse events study findings

            The Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) study found out that these childhood experiences are very common with 28% of the sample participants reporting both or either physical and sexual abuse in their childhood. The study also discovered that many of the participants have experiences with divorce and/or separation of parents while others have gone through childhood with a parent with mental instabilities and/or substance abuse (Felitti, Anda, Nordenberg,Williamson, Spitz, Edwards, & Marks, 1998).

            The other important finding of the study is that ACEs often are repeated acts. 40% of the participants reported more than one occurrence of the event in their lives. In the study, it was concluded that ACEs have a cumulative effect on the child’s adult life (Messina, Grella, Burdon, & Prendergast,2007). A large number of male and female drug-abuse prisoners reported experiences with ACE in a subsequent study carried out by Messina and company.


Chamberlain, P., Moreland, S., & Reid, K. (1992). Enhanced services and stipends for foster parents: Effects on retention rates and outcomes for children. Child Welfare71(5), 387-401.

Faiaz, F. (2008). Just Say No: Redefining the Foundation of Abstinence Education in the United States. Hous. J. Health L. & Pol’y9, 99.

Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D. F., Spitz, A. M., Edwards, V., … & Marks, J. S. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American journal of preventive medicine14(4), 245-258.

Messina, N., Grella, C., Burdon, W., & Prendergast, M. (2007). Childhood adverse events and current traumatic distress: A comparison of men and women drug-dependent prisoners. Criminal Justice and Behavior34(11), 1385-1401.

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