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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Max Liddell

This paper explores a major pathway that lead people into the ranks of the homeless, the mental health and the justice systems ‐ abuse as a child followed by time in the…

Abstract

This paper explores a major pathway that lead people into the ranks of the homeless, the mental health and the justice systems ‐ abuse as a child followed by time in the care of the state. The focus is on Australia with particular emphasis on the Australian state of Victoria as a case example and on the child welfare systems which produce these outcomes. The author argues that child welfare analyses are usually too narrow in their focus. The paper examines the history of the development of child welfare systems in Australia since white settlement in the various colonies in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The author demonstrates some of the wide variety of factors that produce the many negative child welfare outcomes. The original focus of child welfare systems in Australia were largely on social control of the street behaviours of children and the perceived immoral behaviour of their parents, especially their mothers. The developing systems further featured parsimonious service provision, limited visions for the future of the children, and exploitation of their labour. Swings to and from institutional and foster care as the key program responses were usually based on inadequacies of previous systems, the perceived need to control costs, and the perceived inadequacies of the non‐government service providers, rather than careful analysis of and response to the needs of children. Service redevelopment and especially reliance on family support in the late twentieth century has occurred while the traditional issues and problems, including abuse of children in care, remain current and unresolved. The development of managerialist public service practices in recent decades has added to the traditional isolation and lack of integration of the various child welfare components and actively hindered the development of an integrated system. An emphasis on minimal intervention, together with the other factors, has produced a situation in which children are frequently left at risk by the very systems supposed to protect them. The author concludes that not only do the lessons and mistakes of history need to be heeded, but that the principles, programs and management practices of child welfare need to be seen in combination as the factors which set child welfare clients on the road to homelessness or mental health and justice facilities.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 1 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2019

Leticia Villarreal Sosa, Myrna McNitt and Erna Maria Rizeria Dinata

This chapter examines historical and contemporary issues related to child protection and argues that the social construction of immigrants requires an examination of the…

Abstract

This chapter examines historical and contemporary issues related to child protection and argues that the social construction of immigrants requires an examination of the values that shape child welfare practice. Discussion of the historical context of the US child welfare system is followed by a discussion of the separations of children from their families as a result of deportations or separations at the border. The intersections of child welfare, racism, and xenophobia are discussed, highlighting historical trauma, forced separations of Indigenous and Latinx children, and the importance of social constructions of immigrants in shaping child welfare practice and policy.

Details

Conflict and Forced Migration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-394-9

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Marianne Dæhlen

This paper assesses the drop-out rate among disadvantaged students within vocational education and training. The purpose of this paper is to examine the probability of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper assesses the drop-out rate among disadvantaged students within vocational education and training. The purpose of this paper is to examine the probability of dropping out after school-based training for child welfare clients – a particularly disadvantaged group of youth. Child welfare clients’ drop-out rate is compared with students from a representative sample of their peers.

Design/methodology/approach

Average marginal effects were calculated from multinomial logistic regression models. Data were from public registries (n=10,535).

Findings

The results show that differences in observed characteristics cannot explain differences in drop-out rates between child welfare clients and the majority peers. It is argued that this drop-out rate is likely a result of employers favoring apprenticeship applicants who are similar to them or that child welfare clients lack networks, which previous research has identified as crucial in finding an apprenticeship.

Practical implications

The results suggest a need for action targeting disadvantaged youths in the transition that follows school-based training.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the very scarce literature on transition from school-based learning to apprenticeships.

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Marion Ellison

This paper sets out to explore the relationship between gender, New Public Management (NPM), citizenship and professional and user group identities and relationships…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to explore the relationship between gender, New Public Management (NPM), citizenship and professional and user group identities and relationships within child care social work practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises findings from a major comparative survey undertaken in Denmark and the UK as part of Doctoral research. In addition the paper draws upon more recent empirical research carried out by the author in Sweden.

Findings

Paradigms imported from the private sector have led to the adoption of NPM, fiscal austerity and the reorganisation of childcare social work throughout Europe. This paper illustrates the connectivities between NPM, gender, citizenship and the contested terrains within which professional and user group relationships and identities are being forged. The paper offers a unique insight into the operationalisation of NPM and gender within childcare professional social work practice in different European settings.

Research limitations/implications

The paper's findings may be used to contribute to existing theoretical and empirical knowledge within the field of professional childcare social work and practice.

Originality/value

The paper offers a unique insight into the operationalisation of gender equality as a normative ideal premised on the development of organisational and legal settings which embrace an awareness of the duality of public and private spheres and the impact of different European welfare settings on the articulations of notions of gender and citizenship, which in turn operationalise processes of inclusion and exclusion of women as citizens, workers and parents.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2003

Bruce Bradbury

Conventional consumer equivalence scales measure the cost of children (and other household living arrangements) but not their benefits. Since many people choose to have…

Abstract

Conventional consumer equivalence scales measure the cost of children (and other household living arrangements) but not their benefits. Since many people choose to have children, these costs must be outweighed by other benefits. This paper considers these issues of demographic choice and explores the relevance of consumer equivalence scales to the broader welfare questions associated with tax/transfer policies and poverty and inequality measurement. The paper concludes that in contrast to conventional methods of measuring poverty and inequality, there is a case for the use of different equivalence scales for adults and children in the same household. Though the adults may have chosen their lower living standard in exchange for the “joys of parenthood”, the children have made no such choice.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2013

Hans Grietens

This paper is about the implementation of the evidence-based practice paradigm in child welfare in Europe. Our main question is whether there is a pan-European perspective…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is about the implementation of the evidence-based practice paradigm in child welfare in Europe. Our main question is whether there is a pan-European perspective on evidence-based working in this area, and if so, how it can be characterised.

Design/methodology/approach

We try to answer this question by means of a theoretical analysis, which is focusing on three issues: the construct “Europe”, recent evolutions in child welfare on the continent and the implementation of the evidence-based practice paradigm in child welfare.

Findings

Europe is a patchwork of regions, cultures and laws. This impacts practice. Since more than a decade now, the evidence-based practice paradigm conquered child welfare. This evolution was preceded by a movement towards children's rights and quality of care. The way the paradigm is interpreted and put into practice in Europe is largely influenced by regional policies and local view points, which means there is no pan-European perspective on evidence-based working in child welfare.

Originality/value

The lack of a pan-European perspective may be a strength, because it helps to blend evidence-based working with the need for an inclusive and culturally sensitive child welfare practice.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Book part
Publication date: 10 May 2017

Maya Manian

As numerous scholars have noted, the law takes a strikingly incoherent approach to adolescent reproduction. States overwhelmingly allow a teenage girl to independently…

Abstract

As numerous scholars have noted, the law takes a strikingly incoherent approach to adolescent reproduction. States overwhelmingly allow a teenage girl to independently consent to pregnancy care and medical treatment for her child, and even to give up her child for adoption, all without notice to her parents, but require parental notice or consent for abortion. This chapter argues that this oft-noted contradiction in the law on teenage reproductive decision-making is in fact not as contradictory as it first appears. A closer look at the law’s apparently conflicting approaches to teenage abortion and teenage childbirth exposes common ground that scholars have overlooked. The chapter compares the full spectrum of minors’ reproductive rights and unmasks deep similarities in the law on adolescent reproduction – in particular an undercurrent of desire to punish (female) teenage sexuality, whether pregnant girls choose abortion or childbirth. It demonstrates that in practice, the law undermines adolescents’ reproductive rights, whichever path of pregnancy resolution they choose. At the same time that the law thwarts adolescents’ access to abortion care, it also fails to protect adolescents’ rights as parents. The analysis shows that these two superficially conflicting sets of rules in fact work in tandem to enforce a traditional gender script – that self-sacrificing mothers should give birth and give up their infants to better circumstances, no matter the emotional costs to themselves. This chapter also suggests novel policy solutions to the difficulties posed by adolescent reproduction by urging reforms that look to third parties other than parents or the State to better support adolescent decision-making relating to pregnancy and parenting.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-344-9

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Book part
Publication date: 14 April 2008

An-Magritt Jensen

The Children's Welfare Network was informed by the ‘new social study of childhood’ (Qvortrup, Bardy, Sgritta, & Wintersberger, 1994), with emphasis on the life conditions…

Abstract

The Children's Welfare Network was informed by the ‘new social study of childhood’ (Qvortrup, Bardy, Sgritta, & Wintersberger, 1994), with emphasis on the life conditions of children here and now. The basic question formulated in terms of a generational perspective was: Do children as a population group experience life conditions different from those of other population groups – the elderly, for example?

Details

Childhood: Changing Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1419-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Turid Grinde

Earlier Nordic comparative studies show variation between countries in child welfare practice, reflecting cultural differences, and that case workers share the norms…

Abstract

Earlier Nordic comparative studies show variation between countries in child welfare practice, reflecting cultural differences, and that case workers share the norms, values and attitudes of their society. Can cultural factors be concretised for discussion? Child welfare workers in Denmark, Iceland and Norway were presented with five child care stories (vignettes) that focused on the ‘threshold’ between preventive measures and out‐of‐home care (consensual or compulsory). Vignette themes included parental neglect, maternal alcohol misuse and youth problems. Study participants gave written answers to the vignettes and took part in group discussions with colleagues. The results showed significant differences between countries in case workers' responses. Variations in arguments, decisions, use of compulsion and working style reflected national views and priorities. A central dimension was how case workers balanced parental interests with children's needs: in Denmark they were reluctant to intervene with parental rights, whereas the Norwegians were more accepting of compulsory decisions to protect children.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2011

June Thoburn and Mark E. Courtney

Out‐of‐home care has been a subject for policy debate since child welfare policies were first developed. Too often the debate is marked by ill‐informed sound‐bites linking…

Abstract

Purpose

Out‐of‐home care has been a subject for policy debate since child welfare policies were first developed. Too often the debate is marked by ill‐informed sound‐bites linking “care” with negative descriptors such as “drift” or “languish”. The purpose of this paper is to urge a more nuanced understanding informed by the large volume of research from across jurisdictional boundaries.

Design/methodology/approach

The historical, cultural and political contexts in which studies on children's out‐of‐home care have been conducted are reviewed, since these impact on the characteristics of the children, the aims of the care service in any particular jurisdiction, and the outcomes for those entering care. The paper also scopes the large volume of English language descriptive and process research (and the smaller number of outcome studies) on the different placement options.

Findings

The outcomes of out‐of‐home care are different for different groups of children, and care needs to be taken not to over‐simplify the evidence about processes and outcomes. The generally negative view of the potential of out‐of‐home care is not based on evidence.

Originality/value

The authors, from their North American and UK/European perspectives, provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses, both of the available research and of the care services themselves.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

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