Public Policy and the Social Learning Theory Essay

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Public Policy and the Social Learning Theory Cynthia Brough CJ102 Criminology I March 4, 2014 Professor Ellen Smith Chupik Public Policy and the Social Learning Theory Due to the latest issues of child neglect and endangerment, the Department of Job and Family Services in Anytown executed a new public policy based on the Social Learning Theory. This new policy states that one or more accounts of domestic violence, child abuse or drug/alcohol infractions or violations by anyone who is in direct charge of a child’s care, will result in the child or children being removed from the home. The child or children will then be placed in the custody and care of the state or foster care services until the child’s guardian has complied with any of the following requirements; drug and/or alcohol treatment, counseling, family therapy, mental health treatment, anger management, life skills training and parenting classes. After a period of six months, if the guardian(s) have completed all of their court ordered classes and therapy sessions without another offense then the child may be returned to the home. The Social Learning Theory that is being used as a basis for this new policy is centered on the view that people learn bad or aggressive behaviors by witnessing other people who act aggressively in order to reach a particular goal or reward. While many social learning theorists understand that a person’s mental and physical characteristics can influence how violent they may be, it is believed that the environment they live in and what they witness or are subjected to in the home is a key factor behind their behavior. (Siegel, 2008). There is also the need to ensure that the child in question is not subjected to any more harmful or dangerous behavior by the adults in the home. Many studies show that the dangers of child abuse spread beyond harming the victim. Research

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