Dr Otonjo Ibim Emoyon-Iredia
Children are susceptible to numerous types of abuse. Abuse can be physical, physiological, or psychological. Girls, especially those who have been fostered out, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to sexual assault. Domestic employees, especially females, work long hours and are denied education and freedom of speech. They are also at risk of physical and sexual abuse. Social work has the potential to significantly alleviate the obstacles encountered by children in Rivers State by raising awareness and motivating legislation to address societal circumstances that create vulnerability. This is the focus of this paper. It highlights the roles of social work and care practice in protecting these vulnerable children. The ecological theory provides one overall framework for understanding child care. It aids social workers in understanding how people interact with their surroundings in the context of larger socio-political order. Specific interventions for social workers to consider including child protection, special needs children with disabilities, crèche/day care services and child/maternal health care services in Nigeria are discussed. The article recommends, among others, that there should be proper development and implementation of policies and programmes to safeguard child rights.