Click here to skip to content

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

After neo-liberalism? The OECD, the World Bank and the child

R. Mahon

Global Social Policy, vol.10, 2010, p. 172-192

Although the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank are often (rightly) associated with the diffusion of ideas and practices underpinning neo-liberal globalisation, a closer analysis of their policy discourses over the last decade suggests that they have moved beyond the brute neo-liberal prescription of welfare cuts and structural adjustment. While continuing to call for restructuring of old social consumption-focused policies, both came to recognise a positive role for policies emphasising the development and mobilisation of human capital. This shift is particularly evident in their advocacy of public investment in childcare/child development programmes. This article explores differences in emphasis in the way that the OECD and the World Bank have framed the need for early childhood education and care, reflecting a greater or lesser break from neo-liberal canons.

Children found starving in rural Australia

K. Marks

The Independent, Aug. 5th 2010, p. 29

Shocking evidence has emerged at an Australian government inquiry that children in remote indigenous community are starving. The claim was made by child protection workers who called for an International Aid-style programme for the country.

Investing in health: the long-term impact of Head Start on smoking

K.H. Anderson, J.E. Foster and D.E. Frisvold

Economic Inquiry, vol.48, 2010, p. 587-602

Head Start is the principal federally funded early childhood intervention programme through which the United States invests in improving the life chances of disadvantaged children. Evaluations of Head Start have tended to focus on cognitive outcomes; however there is increasing recognition that other outcomes can be influenced by participation. This article evaluates the impact of Head Start on smoking behaviour in young adulthood by comparing the behaviour of adults who attended Head Start with that of siblings who did not. Results show that participation in Head Start reduces the probability that an individual smokes as a young adult.

The planets aligned: is child protection policy reform good luck or good management?

C. Humphreys and others

Australian Social Work, vol. 63, 2010, p. 145-163

State governments across Australia are struggling to cope with escalating child protection referrals, an increase in the number of children in state care, a decrease in the number of foster carers and chronic child welfare workforce shortages. The state of Victoria has responded by introducing community-based intensive family support services to provide early interventions for vulnerable children and their families. This article explores the reform process from the perspective of key actors from government, non-government and academia who participated in it.

Power and child protection: the need for a child welfare service users' union or association

G.C. Dumbrill

Australian Social Work, vol. 63, 2010, p. 194-206

This paper emerged from a study in which parents in Ontario who had been subject to a child protection intervention developed a 'Service Users' Guide' to help new entrants to the child welfare system understand and cope with the process. It quickly became evident that the biggest issue faced by parents in the child protection system was the imbalance of power between themselves and social workers. A potential solution that emerged from the study was the creation of a child welfare service users' association or union. This article discusses parents' ideas about why this association is needed, how it could function, and the benefits that it could bring.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web