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

Adopting a new path

D. Sanders

Professional Social Work, July/Aug. 2011, p. 26-27

Fostering and adoption are new to Russia, emerging only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This article looks at children and families social work in the city of Dzerzhinsk, focusing on the development of foster carer training.

Enforcing the law on child maintenance in Sub-Saharan Africa: a case study of Ghana

S.E. Laird

International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, vol.25, 2011, p. 220-243

Using legislation to enforce peopleís rights is exceptionally problematic in the political and socio-economic environment of most Sub-Saharan African countries. This article draws on a qualitative study that examines in detail the range of factors thwarting the successful enforcement of child maintenance obligations under the Childrenís Act 1998 in Ghana. It links the findings to wider considerations of how legislation operates in Sub-Saharan countries and why it is often ineffectual in upholding the rights od individuals. It proposes a number of changes in how the law is formulated and used to enforce rights in the socio-economic conditions of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Grandparenting: roles and responsibilities and its implications for kinship care policies

M. Devine and T. Earle

Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, vol. 6, 2011, p. 124-133

In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, there is a focus on giving priority to grandparents as caregivers, which is embedded in current child welfare legislation. There appears to be an underlying assumption that grandparents are able and willing to provide such care. This study was undertaken to test the validity of this assumption, especially in relation to children at risk of entering the child protection system. Data on 22 selected grandparents resident in the Province confirmed their commitment to provide care for their grandchildren, if care was needed.

The multicultural paradox: the challenge of accommodating both power and trust in child protection

I.-M. Johansson

International Social Work, vol. 54, 2011, p. 535-549

The overrepresentation of immigrant children in the Swedish child protection system is a challenge for child welfare. There are concerns that the child welfare system may miss or avoid recognising the special needs of migrant children despite a very progressive approach in immigration politics. Covert racism may also be at work. This article explores the situation of migrant young men aged 14-22 with a non-Western background in the child protection system, based on interviews with seven youths, their social workers, close family members and contact persons at juvenile institutions. The study aims to highlight how the different respondents construct critical incidents in the young menís lives. It also investigates how these narratives can be understood in relation to Swedish multicultural politics and their influence on relationships and interventions in the child protection context.

Public health approaches to safeguarding children

S. Peckover and S. Smith (guest editors)

Child Abuse Review, vol. 20, 2011, p. 231-306

The papers in this special issue all advocate for a public health approach to safeguarding children. The contributions reflect an international perspective, with papers from the USA, Australia and the UK. A common theme underpinning the papers and explored variously in the inadequacy of existing child protection systems, deemed to be both expensive and overwhelmed by demand. The failure to deliver appropriate timely services to the population, particularly in respect of services oriented to prevention and early intervention, lies at the heart of many papers, with authors arguing for service redesign to incorporate these elements.

The State versus parental authority

K.R. Bolton

Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, vol. 36, 2011, p. 197-217

In 2007 the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill introduced into the New Zealand Parliament by Sue Bradford passed into law. The new legislation outlawed the physical punishment of children by parents. This article examines the Trotskyite ideology behind the Bill, the effect of which is to give the State carte blanche to interfere in family life and to weaken the family as a basic social institution and potential opponent of state control.

Youth workers in David Cameron's Oxfordshire base strike over cuts

A. Topping

The Guardian, Aug. 24th 2011, p. 18

Two weeks after England was paralysed by riots, David Cameron chose to deliver a speech on the ‘slow-motion moral collapse’ in Britain at Base 33, a youth centre in his Oxfordshire constituency. He might not have mentioned cuts to youth services, but local youth workers weren't going to let the opportunity pass. They went on strike to protest against changes that they said could have a ‘huge impact’ on young people's lives.

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