Jashae, Sandra and Janine report from the study week in Dayton, Ohio.

We got the opportunity to do a presentation comparing and contrasting the different services to children and families that Switzerland and the United States offers. Because the topic of services to children and families can be such a broad topic, we decided to narrow it down and focus on children who suffer from abuse, as well as the foster care systems.

Studierende und Mitarbeitende in einem Kinderhospiz in Dayton Ohio. Sie hören aufmerksam einer Frau zu, die etwas über das Hospiz erzählt.

We found that Switzerland and the United States have very similar systems when it comes to dealing with abused children. We also found the foster care systems are quite similar as well. For example in Switzerland, if the child’s well-being is threatened and the parents are unwilling or unable to remedy the situation, the child protection authority must take all appropriate measures to protect the child. In the U.S, child protection is the protection from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Like Switzerland, if the parents or guardians are unable to protect the child from those things, then it is the job of child protective services (CPS) to do so. Another example of the similarities is that in both Switzerland and the U.S, there is a list of requirements that a person must have to become a foster parent.

Some of the things that we found to be a bit different between Switzerland and the U.S systems are that in Switzerland, parents have the right to decide where their children go after they have been taken from them as opposed to the U.S were once your children are taken from you, you have little to no say in what happens to them. Also, the list of requirements that U.S foster parent must have is a lot more than the requirements a Switzerland foster parent must have.

Ein kleiner Vorgarten mit gelb-grünen und roten Blümchen. Dahinter steht eine Mauer mit der Aufschrift «Ronald McDonald House» und im Hintergrund ist das Haus mit einer amerikanischen Flagge zu sehen.

Following our presentation and a bit of class discussion, we got the opportunity to go tour and learn about two different children agencies, Care House and Ronald McDonald House. Both agencies were beautifully decorated and welcoming. Care House are was established in 1998. It is a community task force that wants to ensure that abused children don’t fall through the cracks of the service delivery system. They do this by figuring out a way to prevent a child from having to tell their story of abuse so many times. Some of the thing that we learned about the Ronald McDonald house is that Ronald McDonald House Charities provides a temporary home-away-from-home for families of critically ill, hospitalized children and supports efforts that improve children’s health within our region.

Aussenansicht des Gebäudes des Kinderhospiz in Dayton, Ohio.