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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2010): Child welfare - overseas

Challenges in implementing participatory practice in child protection: a contingency approach

Y. Darlington, K. Healy and J.A. Feeney

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 32, 2010, p. 1020-1027

Legislation and policy directives in many countries emphasise the rights of parents to participate in child protection decision-making. The research literature has tended to presume that increased participation of parents in child protection practice is both feasible and desirable. However, factors related to the complex nature of child protection work make it difficult to translate the ideals of participation into reality. This study was designed to explore Queensland practitioners' experiences of the participation of parents in child welfare decision-making, using in-depth interviews. Findings indicate that effective parent participation is contingent on a number of parent and system factors. Parent factors include parents' willingness to engage with child welfare authorities, their demonstrated understanding of their children's needs, and their willingness to effect parenting changes in order to meet those needs. System factors relate to the power of the child protection system with regard to parents, and the extent to which workers have time for thorough case planning and to build relationships with parents.

Effects of a Citizens' Review Panel in preventing child maltreatment fatalities

V.J. Palusci, S. Yager and T.M. Covington

Child Abuse and Neglect, vol. 34, 2010, p. 324-331

Citizens' Review Panels became a requirement for US states as part of the re-authorisation of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act 1998. Citizens' Review Panels are constituted expressly for the purpose of reviewing deaths of children known to government child protection services and are charged with making recommendations for system improvements. Citizens review panels in Michigan identified a number of problem areas in the state's child welfare system through their examination of child fatalities

Para-social work to address the most vulnerable children in sub-Sahara Africa: a case example in Tanzania

N. Linsk and others

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 32, 2010, p. 990-997

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children is one of the most significant challenges facing developing countries, especially those ravaged by HIV/AIDS. Government responses to their needs are limited by lack of resources and shortages of professionally trained personnel. One response to these challenges is to train and use local community volunteers as para-professionals to supplement existing social services. This article presents a case study of the development of para-social work in Tanzania, covering the development of the concept, training programmes and methods, initial evaluation data, and some of the efforts to institutionalise the programme.

Social welfare in Vietnam: a curse or blessing for poor children?

K. Roelen

Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol. 4, 2010, p. 66-83

Despite rapid economic growth and rising living standards over the past two decades, many children in Vietnam still live in poverty. In order to combat poverty, the Vietnamese government provides social insurance and social welfare schemes, the latter including targeted benefit programmes and special schemes for war veterans and invalids. There is no specific programme targeted on children in poverty. This study assesses the performance and impact of social welfare benefits on child poverty, using both monetary and multidimensional poverty perspectives. Findings suggest that welfare benefits have little or no impact on monetary child poverty, that there are significant inclusion and exclusion errors, and that its coverage is limited.

Toward a general model for child welfare and protection services: a meta-evaluation of international experiences regarding the adoption of the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families

S. Leveille and C. Chamberland

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 32, 2010, p. 929-944

In 1999 England and Wales developed a model of professional practice for meeting the needs of vulnerable children and their families: the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. This model has since been adopted in 15 other countries. This article presents the model; identifies the countries that have adopted it; provides a picture of its extent of implementation in each country; and reveals the results of a meta-evaluation of studies that have examined its effects and the experiences related to its implementation. The results indicate that professionals who use the framework ultimately make better assessments of the complex situations they face, have a more holistic and child-centred point of view, and consequently plan better interventions. The model increases inter-professional and inter-organisational collaboration. It also increases the participation of children and parents in the provision of services intended for them, yet slightly below expectations.

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