Click here to skip to content

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

The quest for a child of one's own: markets and transnational adoption

R. Högbacka

Journal of Comparative Family Studies, vol. 39, 2008, p.311-330

This article aims to investigate some of the factors behind the recent increase in transnational adoption. The market in transnational adoption is driven by a huge demand for infants generated by changing practices in private life in the West. Children flow from South to North and from East to West. The most desirable children from the point of view of adopters are the youngest, healthiest and lightest of skin colour. Demand for such children exceeds supply. From the perspective of adoptive parents, the discrepancy between demand and supply results in very long waits for a suitable child. They therefore have to consider tactics in terms of whether to change country of origin, adoption agency or their own preferences. They are driven by a powerful desire to experience parenthood, which they view as necessary to fulfil their potential as human beings.

The recruitment and retention of family foster carers: an international cross-cultural analysis

M. Colton, S. Roberts and M. Williams

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 38, 2008, p. 865-884

The recruitment and retention of family foster carers present a major challenge to fostering services worldwide. Given the dearth of information on recruitment and retention of carers in an international and cross-cultural sense, this study presents a comparative analysis of prevailing issues. Three key themes emerged from the study: the motivation and capacity to foster; professionalism versus altruism; and criteria for kin and unrelated carers.

Retention of front-line staff in child welfare: a systematic review of research

D. DePanfilis and J.L. Zlotnik

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 30, 2008, p. 995-1008

Difficulties in recruiting and retaining child welfare staff, especially in US public agencies, impact adversely on service delivery. High caseloads and staff turnover negatively affect outcomes for children and families because they lead to poor relationships between workers and clients, a limited focus on child safety, and delayed decision-making about placements. This review of research aimed to identify the personal and organisational factors that might enhance retention and limit turnover among child welfare workers. Findings reinforce the importance of workers' commitment to child welfare, self-efficacy and low levels of emotional exhaustion as key personal factors for staying, and co-worker and supervisory support and salary and benefits as crucial organisational factors affecting retention.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web