Best interests of the child

Review the attached article along with any other articles you wish to consult for background information.

  • In the juvenile court system, the “best interests of the child” is the paramount consideration. Traditionally the court has focused on maintaining a family together when feasible, and also in the best interests of the chlld/chlldren. These children have all been removed from their home at present. At this point, the oldest child remains with his father/step-mother (the Steeles). The 3 younger children, originally also with the Steeles (who are not their biological parents) now live with grandparents.

Discuss what, set of conditions could exist that would allow you to recommend that it would be in any or all of their best interests to reunify the children with Christensen and Wilde.


  • Possible number of points – 15; standard grading scale applies; the assignment is work 15% of your final grade.
  • Your answers must be in typed form, legible, coherent, well-reasoned, and grammatically correct.
  • Please remember to put your name on your paper.
  • There is no page limit – minimum or maximum. You should prepare a complete response to each inquiry. This can be done in as few as 3-4 pages but may take more pages – just depending on your writing style.
  • Be sure to provide attribution as appropriate (at the end of your submission is fine).

1: Child Abuse or Child Neglect

To go for the discussion of child abuse or child neglect by the Christenson and Wilde, it is a need to understand the concepts of child abuse and child neglect. Sometimes these two concepts are used interchangeably which is wrong and hence there is a lot of difference between the two coined terms. Child abuse is harming a child in a sexual or physical or in emotional way; child neglect, on the other hand, is the point at which a child is being neglected through, not having the adoration and consideration, nourishment and education, and so on (Children Bureau, 2016). Child abuse is understood more easily when contrasted with the child neglect and they both effect the development of a child (Kepple, 2017).

In the case under discussion, I believe that it is the case of both child abuse as well as child neglect. Child abuse is related to the case because of its physical harm towards the children involved (Kepple, 2017). On the other hand, child neglect relates to providing no attention and love for children (Kepple, 2017).

Children Bureau pronounced that physical abuse is usually characterized as any unplanned physical damage caused to the child and also sometimes comprises of the burning, kicking, striking or biting the young one, or all such activities that leads to the physical harm or underdevelopment of the child (Children Bureau, 2016). Hence, this case is truly a case of child abuse as Wilde caused the physical abuse to three of her children under the age of 5 through making them drug addicts in so much early age which cause their developmental delays and cognitive growth issues. The father of Children, Christenson, was also criminal in this case because of offering felony to her wife. Additionally, the article shows that “While still in the hospital, Christenson and Wilde crushed up Suboxone — a prescription pain medication used for pain management and addiction treatment — and rubbed it on the newborn’s gums in an effort to hide the signs of a drug addiction from hospital staff” (Stilson and Egan, 2017; para. 24). The case should be against them for physically abusing their three younger children but not for the 9 years old son.

Secondly, the case needs to be also against them regarding the child neglect. Children bureau defines child neglect as the parents’ malfunction or any other caretaker’s malfunction regarding the children’s responsibilities for offering not only the food, dresses and the shelter but also the needed medical care, as well as the level of supervision for ensuring that there is no harm caused to the well-being, safety and health of the children (Child Bureau, 2016). In this case, the children are being neglected as the article states that “It’s a disturbing case… where four young children …. who should be growing up in a nurturing, loving, caring, environment and protected from harm, are being harmed by those who should be providing that environment” (Stilson and Egan, 2017; para. 11). Additionally, the older son of 9 years declare that usually when the kids woke up late at night, they are all alone as parents would be gone. Hence, declaring that the case is purely the case of child neglect and neglect is for all the four kids as 9 years old also face the neglect along with the three younger children of ages 4 yr, 2ys and 3 months.

2: The Best Interest of the Child

Despite the fact that there is no standard meaning of “best interests of the child,” the term usually relates to the consideration that courts consider when choosing what kind of administrations, activities, and requests will best serve a child and in addition who is best suited to deal with a child (Children Bureau, 2016). “Best interests” judgments are for the most part made by considering various variables identified with the conditions of the child and the conditions of the parents as well as guardian along with the ability of a parent, with the definitive wellbeing and prosperity of the child (Christian, 2009).

There are many reasonable efforts that can be implemented by the social agencies of the state that plan to offer the help and administrations expected to protect and reunify families (Children Bureau, 2016). The programs related to the community services can be offered for promoting the wellbeing and prosperity of children and families. These administrations are intended to not just build the confidence and quality of the family, yet additionally upgrade the capability and certainty of the parents (Children Bureau, 2016). Also, minimal monetary help and endowments for the family can encourage individuals like Christenson and Wilde to manage the cost for offering shelter, safety and stability for children and supporting family alongside improvement of child development.

The conditions would only be supporting after a proper counseling program for the parents of these kids as well as supervising them for some specific time for making sure that there would be more supportive and healthy environment for children as well as their parents (Christian, 2009). Social agencies can be conducted to offer financial aid to the family on monthly basis to manage the situation they faced before.

Substance abuse counseling is likewise a legitimate motivational program for the parents to make them responsible and strong parents for raising their children. The court and children agency would just be the contact point to reunify the family under the previously mentioned strategies and conditions. Furthermore, policymakers in a few states are required to join help with child rearing and family life into thorough programs for reentering a home or place of living (Christian, 2009).

Many firms are expected to team up in for reunifying the family. To lay the preparation for such joint effort, a policy maker or legislator should think about the connection between a detained parent and his or her child ought to be perceived, preserved, identified and reinforced when in the best interest of the child. For example, in this case the integrated institutes need to analyze the Christenson and Wilde underlying considerations for their children and their approach to reunify the family in a healthy way and additionally, kids also should be counseled especially of ages 9, 4 and 2 years to better understand the family interactions and healthy environment and their consent to live with their parents again. Through the proper planning, the family can be reunited but in better interests of the children development and life.



Children Bureau. (2016). Definition of child abuse and child neglect. Child Welfare Information

Gateway. Retrieved from:

Children Bureau. (2016). Reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families and achieve

permanency of children. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Retrieved from:

Christian S. (2009). Children of incarcerated parents. National Conference of State Legislature.

Retrieved from:

Kepple N. J. (2017). Does parental substance use always engender risk for children? Comparing

incidence rate ratios of abusive and neglectful behaviors across substance use behavior patterns. Child Abuse and Neglect, 76: 44-55.

Stilson A. and Egan L. (2017). Couple raises $10K after taking in 3 children at center of drug

case. Retrieved from:



I believe it is both child abuse and child neglect because all the four children are minor ages from 3 month, 2y, 4 y and 9 years. Violence over a child is wider than bruises and broken bones. While physical violence is most visible, other types of violence, such as emotional abuse or neglect of the child, also leave deep scars affecting later life. The earlier the child is assisted, the act of violence is committed, the greater the chance that he will heal and break the vicious circle, and will not save forever.

Ignoring the child’s needs, lack of supervision over the child, leaving him in a dangerous situation or forming a sense of worthlessness and intellectual insolvency in the child is also an option for child abuse. Regardless of the type of violence against the child, the result is serious emotional damage. Gelles (1976) argue that stress and frustration are important factors in causing abuse, such as marital disorder, unemployment, social isolation, etc. are the main source of stress and frustration, and this pressure , Frustration plus other factors, such as the wrong values, parental ideals, etc., will make personal psychological disorder, reduced control, neurological disorders, and then produce child abuse.

Neglect of the child is a very common type of violence against the child – is a constant and repeated failure in meeting the basic needs of the child, whether it is food, clothing, hygiene or upbringing. Neglect of the child is not always easy to notice. Sometimes parents are physically and psychologically incapable of caring for the children, as, for example, in this case of Christenson and Wilde is a case the abuse of alcohol and drugs seriously impairs the ability to reason and the ability to ensure the safety of the children. For example “Wilde and Christenson were arrested again last week after detectives accused them of giving their newborn daughter crushed pain medication in the hospital to hide the baby’s alleged drug addiction from medical staff”.

Both parents are equally Involved in both child abuse as a crime and child neglect issue. According to the definition of child abuse it is a special case of violence against children. From other forms of violence, cruel treatment is distinguished by the characteristics of the relationship existing between the child and the abuser. Here in this case, “The two young boys and the infant girl all tested positive for methamphetamine following the arrests of Wilde and Christenson in June, said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon. The infant also tested positive for heroin and morphine, police said”, the police report proves child abuse.

According to the guidelines issued by the Child Services Administration, the following categories of actions are considered abusive or neglected – “drug abuse and alcohol abuse”, In New York City, about 70% of the cases investigated by the Child Services Administration are involved in some form of substance abuse”(Stein,2013).. It has been shown that children who grow up in drug abuse or alcoholic families are more likely to be abused because parents or guardians want more of how to get drugs and wine than to take care of children’s physical and mental needs. According to character of United Nations “Children have the right to protection from all forms of ill-treatment, neglect, exploitation and violence. Societies must eliminate all forms of violence against children. In this regard, we are determined;

  1. a) protect children from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence(Stein,2013).

family reunification services refer to children who are considered to need to be housed in other places and receive psychological rehabilitation while assisting their families to reunite family functions in the hope that children will eventually be able to return family. This program is due to the 1970s children continue to enter and leave foster families caused by drift phenomenon, the child’s dependency relationship can not be established, resulting in many deviation behavior. As a result, the US government enacted the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare (PL96-272) in 1980 to address the problems caused by children’s long stay in foster care, focusing on foster children who can leave more quickly Foster home, return to the original family reunion service. This program that the home of children to help outside the home of the original family have appropriate links, such as regular meetings, can help children return to the original family as soon as possible (Kleinman, 2015).

The child should consider the best interests of the child and properly intervene in the family to protect the child in order to avoid the child’s well-being and the rights and interests of the child, when the child’s life is at risk or other unfavorable conditions, for the purpose of safeguarding the rights and interests of the child and protecting the child’s best interests Infringement and deprivation, which is what the Western countries say the concept of national parental rights, means that the state is a child super parents. The State can provide child protection services through legislation to protect children who are ill-treated or improperly treated through the design of the welfare service system to assist these children and families.

All the four children of Christensen and Wilde have been removed from their home at present. At this point, the oldest child remains with his father/step-mother (the Steeles). The 3 younger children, originally also with the Steeles (who are not their biological parents) now live with grandparents but both Sami and Steeles do work full-time jobs while caring for the children. They’re also expecting a baby of their own in September. Once children removed from their parents to confirm their safety, the primary goal is to reunify them with their relatives as it is earliest possible. Children who are not safe in their own home are positioned in out-of-home care. Primarily, such foster care is temporary till the attitude of parents changed and they admit their misconduct and agrees to take care of their children.


Gelles,S (1976) Stressful life events and depression symptoms: the effect of childhood emotional abuse on stress reactivity. Journal of clinical psychology, 70(3), 209-223.

Kleinman, P. K. (Ed.). (2015). Diagnostic imaging of child abuse. Cambridge University Press.

Stein, A. (2013). Prologue to violence: Child abuse, dissociation, and crime. Routledge.