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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2011): Child welfare - overseas

Children's agency and the welfare state: policy priorities and contradictions in Australia and the UK

G. Redmond

Childhood, vol.17, 2010, p. 470-484

Regulations in Australia and soon in the UK that push single parents into paid employment bring into sharp relief the pre-existing contradiction between the policy ideal of 'priceless' childhoods protected from adult worlds and the reality of 'usefulness' for many children who support their families through domestic work, emotional support and sometimes paid employment. Parents are pressured by government to monitor children's behaviour, ensure that they attend school, and are protected from 'adult' worlds. At the same time they are pressured by welfare advisers to enter paid employment, which requires children to become useful and assume some adult responsibilities within the family.

Opening juvenile proceedings to the public and the media: an international social work perspective

D. Pollack

International Social Work, vol. 53, 2010, p. 836-841

Across the globe countries differ on the preferred standard for access to juvenile proceedings for the public and the media. This article presents the case for and against openness and compares laws in various countries. It concludes by calling on social workers to formally debate the issues.

Party politics and childcare: comparing the expansion of service provision in England and Germany

T. Fleckenstein

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 44, 2010, p. 789-807

Recent years have seen a significant expansion in state-funded childcare provision in countries that were traditionally considered 'service-lean', such as England and Germany. This article analyses the role of party politics in childcare provision, and develops the argument of party modernisation in response to electoral competition for female votes. This competition has altered the underpinnings of the political feasibility of childcare expansion policies.

Raising healthy children: moral and political responsibility for childhood obesity

M. Purcell

Journal of Public Health Policy, vol. 31, 2010, p. 433-446

Childhood obesity and chronic disease rates continue to climb in North America, but the public health response has been confined to ineffective short-term education programmes and social marketing campaigns. This is due to an entrenched liberal belief that what people eat and how often they exercise is a private matter and the responsibility of parents. This article calls for a recognition that children are the responsibility of both the family and the state. The state needs to take more robust action to protect the health of children, by, for example, paying more rigorous attention to re-structuring the built environment and aggressively restricting commercial access to them.

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