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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2001): Child Welfare - Overseas

CHILD CARE IN SLOVENIA: AN EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION

N. Stropnik

Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 27, 2001, p. 263-278

Slovenia has succeeded in retaining most of its advantages and achievements in pre-school child care from the socialist period, while successfully reforming services according to the principles of the market economy. Slovenian mothers tend to work full time. Child care facilities, 70% of which were constructed 1971-1985, are sufficient for almost 60% of the pre-school population. Very little demand remains unmet. Child care services are highly subsidised, with parents on average paying about 25% of the costs.

CHILD CARE IN THE WAKE OF WELFARE REFORM: THE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ON THE ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF SINGLE-MOTHER FAMILIES

M. K. Meyers et al

Social Service Review, vol. 75, 2001, p. 29-59

Using microsimulation to estimate the impact of welfare reform in New York, authors find that five years after federal and state reforms, childcare use and costs will rise substantially and families will bear most of these costs. When family incomes are adjusted for childcare costs, most single-mother families in the US will continue to be poor even with greater earnings, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and food stamps. The distribution of childcare costs between government and families, and the implications for poverty, will depend on the extent to which government subsidizes the childcare costs of single mothers.

CULTURE AND CHILD WELFARE: INSIGHTS FROM NEW ZEALAND

J. S. Ernst

International Social Work, vol. 44, 2001, p. 163-178

New Zealand's experiences offer a unique perspective on two issues that arise in child welfare policy and practice in other Western countries. The 1989 Children, Young Persons and their Families Act gives extraordinary recognition to the importance of cultural identity in handling matters relating to the protection and placement of children who come into contact with the child welfare system. The 1989 Act embraces Maori understandings of kinship, which encompasses more than the extended family to include a child's tribal links. It promotes increased family involvement and autonomy through the Family Group Conference which is based on the Maori family meeting. New Zealand's ideal is that child welfare is a private, rather than a state-directed venture. The 1989 Act requires a child's extended family to decide if a problem exists and to formulate a plan to solve it.

THE IMPACT OF MENTORING ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF AT-RISK YOUTH

L. A. Thompson and L. Kelly-Vance

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 23, 2001, p. 227-242

Planned mentoring programmes have flourished as one possible solution to the problems affecting youth in the US. Study examined the impact of mentoring on the academic achievement of at-risk youth involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Academic achievement tests were individually administered to 12 boys in the treatment group (i.e. had a mentor) and 13 boys in a control group (i.e. were on the waiting list to receive a mentor) pre- and post-test over a nine month period. Results showed that boys with a mentor made significantly higher academic gains than the control group.

SELECTING OUTCOME MEASURES FOR CHILD WELFARE SETTINGS: LESSONS FOR USE IN PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

S. J. Wells and M. A. Johnson

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 23, 2001, p. 169-199

Article summarises the status of outcome measure development in child welfare, presents major considerations for developing an outcomes-based management system, and provides tools for selecting outcomes and their indicators for use in performance management and lessons for appropriate use of outcome information in agency management.

YOUNG PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT SOCIAL INCLUSION: A THREE-NATION STUDY

J. Pitts

Social Work in Europe, vol. 8, 2001, p. 43-54

Discusses the experiences of socially excluded young people in Den Helder in the Netherlands, Watford in Hertfordshire and Kreuzberg in Berlin in relation to their families and neighbourhoods.