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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2009): Child welfare - overseas

Children's participation in decision-making in the Philippines: understanding the attitudes of policy-makers and service providers

S. Bessell

Childhood, vol. 16, 2009, p. 299-316

This article explores the ideas about children's participation in decision-making espoused by government officials and representatives of non-governmental organisations in the Philippines. While the Filipino child participation policy framework is well developed, there remains a gap between the vision and the reality. In the Philippines, as elsewhere, adults' attitudes act as a barrier to children's participation. However, for participants in this study, the attitudinal barriers are not their own beliefs, but community and cultural attitudes that shape and constrain the institutional and social context within which they work.

Children's perspectives on poverty and disadvantage in rich and developing countries

T. Ridge and P. Saunders (editors)

Social Policy and Society, vol. 8, 2009, p. 499-554

This themed section brings together a set of papers that highlights children's perspectives on poverty and disadvantage. The articles explore the experiences, paid and unpaid resource contributions, and perspectives of children who face economic adversity in different countries across a range of diverse settings. They reveal some of the complexity of children's lives using different methodological approaches drawn from a spectrum of qualitative research. The papers include:

  • a study of children's perspectives on the everyday challenges of living in a low-income one-parent working family in the UK
  • a study of the impact of poverty on intra-family relationships in Norway
  • an article on the lives and experiences of working children in Indonesia.

Domestic violence and child protection: partnerships and collaboration

C. Potito and others

Australian Social Work, vol. 62, 2009, p. 369-387

There is considerable evidence that domestic violence and threats to child safety frequently occur in the same families. It is therefore widely recognised that child protection and domestic violence services need to work in partnership to assure both women's and children's safety. Using Australian research, this paper explores the processes needed to enable the child protection and domestic violence sectors to develop collaborative partnerships that lead to higher quality support for both women and children. Drawing on collaboration theory, a number of barriers to the development of successful partnerships are described, including lack of trust, differing organisational aims, power imbalances and poor communication. The paper then outlines key factors for facilitating organisational change that can enable successful integration of the two strands of service delivery.

Educating youth workers as public advocates

J. Bessant

Youth and Policy, no. 103, 2009, p. 65-79

The author argues that repressive policies affecting young people in Australia mean that youth workers need to act as public advocates on their behalf. This role needs explicit training and requires the design of a professional youth work curriculum that equips professionals to be effective. This would include having a stand-alone advocacy or social action subject in the formal curriculum as well as a renewed concentration on the role of language and how 'youth problems' are framed.

Intercountry adoption

K.S. Rotabi and J.L. Gibbons (guest editors)

International Social Work, vol. 52, 2009, p. 571-672

The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption requires states to attempt to keep the child living within its extended family. If that is not possible, states should aim for domestic adoption, preserving the child's culture and language. Once these options have been exhausted, the child may be approved for intercountry adoption by the sending nation's central authority. The papers in this special issue analyse intercountry adoption through three lenses: abolitionist, proponent and pragmatist.

The limits of working with children cards in protecting children

W. Budiselik, F. Crawford and J. Squelch

Australian Social Work, vol. 62, 2009, p. 339-352

In 2006 Western Australia passed legislation that introduced a system to check criminal records and issue permits to those who wish to work with children. This paper explores the system and identifies limits to its effectiveness. It is concluded that the permits system may engender a false sense of security and paradoxically make children less safe.

Young people transitioning from out-of-home care: a critical analysis of Australian and international policy and practice

P. Mendes

Australian Social Work, vol. 62, 2009, p. 388-402

All the available Australian and international research suggests that significant supports and programmes are needed to compensate care leavers for the disadvantages produced by their traumatic pre-care experiences, their lack of family support and their often negative experiences while in care. Compared to most young people, care leavers face particular difficulties in accessing post-secondary education, housing, and employment. This paper critically analyses the pathways taken by care leavers, and the Australian and international policy and practice responses.

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