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Child Seperation

Essay by simsmaster57  •  March 19, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,057 Words (5 Pages)  •  50 Views

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HS 232 Statistics for Health Sciences

Article Critique and Discussion

Due Tuesday 1/29; upload response to moodle and come to class prepared to discuss

After reading the US DHHS Office of Inspector General Issue Brief on Separated Children Placed in Office of Refugee Resettlement Care and the BBC news report, answer the following questions.  Please type directly into this document.  

  1. Why is this topic considered by many to be a health issue?
  2. According to the US DHHS report separated children ranged in age from under 1 to 17 years old. They are not legally recognized as adults and yet they are being separated from their parents and are alone in a new country. These are vulnerable children and the impact of this policy could have lasting effects on their mental health. Therefore, this topic is inherently a health issue since the topic potentially impacts the mental health of a susceptible population.  The US DHHS report even highlights that there is a health issue by stating that their future work will look into the ORR facilities efforts to address mental and physical health services.
  3. Are the data presented in this brief descriptive or analytic in nature?
  4. The data presented in this brief describes the state of separated children as it exists in the present. It describes the characteristics of the issue relying on existing data from ASPR and ORR. This type of data is descriptive in nature as it aims to answer questions like “who”, “where”, and “when” rather then “why” which is more typical of analytic data.

  1. What is the purpose of collecting this data?  
  2. The US DHHS report claims the purpose for collecting this data is to figure out the amount of children separated and the status of these separated children. Another possible purpose for the collection of this data is to help provide some unanimity to the discussion of this policy. The lack of tracking system makes it difficult to move forward with policy recommendations or discussions because everyone has their own independent ideas about how many children were separated. While the collection of this data did not result in a set unanimous number, it did shed light onto the issues and brought some descriptive data to the table.
  3. What challenges were presented while gathering this data?
  4. One of the biggest challenges the US DHHS faced was “the lack of an existing, integrated data system to track separated families” (2). There was a lack of data sharing and communication between the government agencies. This resulted in the ORR being unable to offer a precise estimated of separated kids or even specific information about the children’s placement. There is also the issue of what is defined as a separated child. The CBP doesn’t view the separation of a children from a grandparent or older sibling as the same as a child separated from a parent. There were multiple cases where staff of the ASPR, ORR, and HHS-OGC did not agree with the official lists of separated children. This ties into the larger challenge of different agencies and individuals valuing different factors in determining which children should be listed as separated. The lack of a general definition or formal criteria made determining “official” cases difficult.
  5. Would you consider this “accurate and transparent” reporting of data?  Are you concerned about tensions and/or conflicts of interest with government reporting of data (in this instance, or in general)?
  6. I consider the Brief on Separated Children an accurate and transparent reporting of the data that they had available to them. Despite the challenges they faced, the brief does it best to report what information is known. However, I do not feel that the DHS and HSS databases and the ORR case files are examples of accurate and transparent reporting. The complete lack of coordination and lack of formal criteria inherently makes the data inaccurate. This stems from the tracking systems in place being informal and not designed for reporting. However, when you’re dealing with the separation and lives of children I find it absurd that there are not formal systems in place.

I am concerned about the tensions and conflicts of interest with government reporting of this data. It can be very tempting for government researchers and reporters of data to skew or interpret data to fit their agenda. However, the same can be said for non government entities as well. It’s in everyone’s best interest for multiple government and non government agencies to analyze the same data and come to their own conclusions.

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