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

Administrative case reviews: improving outcomes for children in out of home care

T. Whitaker

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.33, 2011, p. 1683-1708

For nearly 30 years foster care review has been required and practiced in the United States. It was introduced with the intention of reducing the time children spent in foster care and increasing permanent placements. The results of this study provide evidence that timely administrative case review in Colorado is associated with children achieving permanency and with shorter lengths of stay in out-of-home care. The administrative case review process in Colorado is achieving its aims.

Defamilisation, dedomestication and care policy: comparing childcare service provisions of welfare states

T. Kröger

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 31, 2011, p. 424-440

This paper develops a new and original conceptual framework for comparative study of care services based on the notion of dedomestication. Dedomestication refers to the extent to which social policy makes it possible for families to limit their involvement in informal caring. This concept is applied in this study to an empirical analysis of childcare provision in 15 welfare states. Results show that Denmark offers the highest degree of dedomestication to parents of young children under three followed by a group of Nordic and Western European countries. In English-speaking liberal regime nations, dedomestication remains more limited but it is lowest in the central European countries of Hungary and Austria.

Foster parent perspectives of privatization policy and the privatized system

J.A. Steen and K.S. Smith

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 33, 2011, p. 1483-1488

Since the passage of a state law in 1998, foster care services in Florida have been contracted out to private for-profit or nonprofit agencies based on a lead agency structure instead of being delivered centrally through the Department of Children and Families. This study was designed to elicit foster parent views on Florida's foster care privatisation policy and the private organisations that now deliver services. Survey results identified no clear consensus on the topic of privatisation policy. Policy support was more likely to be seen among foster parents who had not served under the old system and among those who viewed the local private agency as competent and responsive. Views of local private agencies were most strongly influenced by the foster parents' satisfaction with training, their involvement in case decision-making, and the kindness of the foster care worker.

Grandchild care and welfare state arrangements in Europe

C. Igel and M. Szydlik

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 21, 2011, p. 210-224

This research investigates the occurrence and intensity of grandchild care in Europe and examines the factors that influence a grandparent's decision to engage in this form of intergenerational support. It also uses data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to trace country-specific differences in national levels of public investment in childcare facilities and to explore how these different welfare state arrangements impact on intergenerational solidarity. Results show that whereas grandparents in Southern Europe engage less often but more intensively in childcare, grandchild care is provided more often but much less intensively in Northern Europe. Multilevel logistic regression models show that country-specific differences are associated with welfare state arrangements and, specifically, with public investments in childcare infrastructures. Family and state complement each other, with grandparents taking over sporadic, less time-intensive care, while public institutions provide regular, time-consuming childcare services.

The positivity imperative: a critical look at the 'new' youth development movement

M. Sukarieh and S. Tannock

Journal of Youth Studies, vol. 14, 2011, p. 675-691

Starting in the late 1980s an allegedly new youth development movement arose in the USA that turned from pathologising young people and viewing them negatively to a commitment to positively embracing and empowering the young. This paper presents a comprehensive account of the broader historical and structural context and significance of positive youth development as an intellectual, social and cultural movement, focusing mainly on the United States. It is argued that, although positive youth development is, in many ways, a continuation of the practices and theories typical of 'old' youth development, it represents a shift in how youth is conceptualised that has been driven by neoliberal ideology and human capital theory.

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