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

Child well-being: understanding children's lives

C. McAuley and W. Rose (editors)

London: J. Kingsley, 2010

Child well-being, which covers everything from family relationships to their material well-being, is now increasingly being talked about in policy and practice nationally and internationally. However, a lack of clarity remains about what the idea really means and how it can help children. This book brings together contributions from international experts in order to define child well-being and to further understand how it can improve children's lives. Issues covered include how the idea is being used in government policy and practice in the UK and USA, how children can contribute to the understanding of child well-being, recent advances in the exploration of indicators and measures of well-being, and the importance of context in making comparisons. A concluding chapter explores whether child well-being is a useful concept in understanding children's lives, whether it positively contributes to policy and practice, and the value of international comparisons.

Global child welfare and well-being

S. Mapp

Oxford: OUP, 2011

Across the world, children are the most vulnerable population. The threats to them may vary, but wherever one looks, children are endangered and exploited. This book examines threats to child well-being globally, investigating violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in countries both in the Global North and the Global South. Some problems are well known, such as child trafficking and child soldiers, while others, such as unethical adoption practices are less well known. The book approaches this vital topic in a comprehensive way, using an established, agreed-upon set of principles to show how things stand now, what remains to be accomplished, and examples of how these problems might be resolved. NGOs and government branches must collaborate increasingly with their counterparts from other countries if they are to allow children to achieve their adult potential.

Red tape or gold standard? Australian service users' experiences of child welfare case-managed practice

S. Tregeagle

Australian Social Work, vol. 63, 2010, p. 299-314

Standardised case management systems were designed to address poor outcomes for abused or neglected children. Their introduction has been controversial, with some Australian social workers complaining that they undermine the social worker-service user relationship and professionalism. This paper reports on a qualitative study of service users' experiences of two systems widely used in Australia, 'Looking After Children' (LAC) and 'Supporting Children and Responding to Families' (SCARF) (both based on adaptations of UK systems). Children and parents reported positive experiences of case-managed interventions: the goals were clear, processes productive, and relationships with social workers possible.

Social protection for Africa's children

S. Handa, S. Devereux and D. Webb (editors)

London: Routledge, 2010

This book significantly advances existing knowledge about social protection for children in Africa, both conceptually and empirically. It makes a strong case for social protection interventions that address the short term (amelioration) and long term (structural) needs of children, and shows that programming in this sector for children is both feasible and achievable. The book is divided into four parts. The first presents economic and human-rights based right arguments for social protection as an integral part of the social policy menu in Africa. This is followed by a part on targeting, which highlights some of the key policy trade-offs faced when deciding between alternative target groups. The third part presents rigorous quantitative evidence on the impact of social cash transfers on children from programmes in South Africa, Malawi and Ethiopia and the final part addresses a set of issues related to social justice and human rights.

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