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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2008): Child welfare - overseas

Are we following the European charter? Children, parents and staff perceptions

M. Migone, F. McNicholas and R. Lennon

Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 34, 2008, p.409-417

The European Association for Children in Hospital (EACH) established a charter for the rights of children in hospital in 1988. This charter sets out the guiding principles for the treatment of children in a hospital setting. It views hospital treatment as a last resort. It acknowledges children's need for parental presence and the need to involve parents and children in a developmentally appropriate way in all aspects of their care. It states that appropriate educational and recreational facilities should be available in hospital, and that staff should be trained to work with children. This research aimed to explore views of children, parents and staff on how well a Dublin paediatric hospital was adhering to the EACH charter.

Connecting father absence and mother blame in child welfare policies and practice

S. Strega and others

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 30, 2008, p. 705-716

This paper reports the results of research about fathers and child welfare based on a review of a random sample of case files in a mid-size Canadian city. Poor single mothers are over-represented in child protection investigations in Canada. Although all the children who come to the attention of child protection services have fathers or father figures, men are conspicuous by their absence from child welfare investigations, which focus on the mothers' behaviour and responsibilities. In cases of physical or sexual abuse, child protection workers commonly blame the mother for failure to protect her children, while ignoring the actions of the male perpetrator. Social workers commonly ignore dangerous men when assessing risk and family functioning, but also fail to engage with men who may be assets.

Inter-country adoption in Ireland: law, children's rights and contemporary social work practice

S. McCaughren and C. Sherlock

Ethics and Social Welfare, vol.2, 2008, p. 133-149

This article raises some of the current practice dilemmas and common ideologies that characterise inter-country adoption in Ireland and explore these through the lens of children's rights. The social and historical development and construction of adoption are examined in order to outline the context within which inter-country adoption occurs in Ireland, emphasizing its move from being a sending to a receiving country in a relatively short time. The role of social workers in the adoption process is examined, and some of the questions posed by adoption professionals are highlighted.

Mandated reporting is still a policy with reason: empirical evidence and philosophical grounds

B. Matthews and D.C. Bross

Child Abuse and Neglect, vol.32, 2008, p. 511-516

A major criticism of mandated reporting laws is that they produce many unsubstantiated reports of child abuse, increase the workload of child protection services, and reduce the quality of service offered to deserving families. However, the authors argue that without a system of mandated reporting, a society will be less able to protect children because many cases of abuse will not come to the attention of the authorities. Drawing on evidence from several nations, they argue that a child protection system needs a mechanism for case finding beyond voluntary help-seeking, that mandated reporting produces a large number of substantiated reports, that the most serious problems in systems having mandated reporting lie not with the reports, but with the responses, and that the economic and social justice advantages of mandated reporting far outweigh any disadvantages.

A pedagogical response to a changing world: towards a globally-informed pedagogy for child and youth care education and practice

G. Bellefeuille, J. McGrath and D. Jamieson

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 30, 2008, p. 717-726

Globalisation has dramatically altered the practice context of child and youth welfare work, calling into question not only what social work students are taught but also how they are taught. The authors propose a globally-informed pedagogy for child and youth care training that offers a more holistic approach to education and practice, is inclusive of people's diverse lived experiences, and is ethically responsive to the emerging complexities of an interconnected and rapidly changing world.

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