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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2003): Child Welfare - Overseas

ADOPTION AND LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN: A COMPARISON OF LEGAL INITIATIVES IN THE UK AND THE USA

S. Sergent

Adoption and Fostering, vo.27, no.2, 2003, p.44-52

Increasing adoption placements for looked after children is the focus of recent initiatives to reform adoption law in both the UK and the USA. Developments in the law are aimed at providing permanent homes for looked after children by encouraging both increased adoptions and quicker decisions to free up a child for adoption when he/she cannot return home. New forms of permanent placement, in the form of a new type of guardianship, have also been created. Author compares and contrasts initiatives in the UK and the USA.

BUILDING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS: AN AUSTRALIAN CASE STUDY OF SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY-BASED RURAL PROGRAMMES

J. Packer, R. Spence and E. Beare

Community Development Journal, vol. 37, 2003, p.316-326

Torrens Valley Youth Programme is an example of how an innovative community partnership model was implemented in rural South Australia with minimal funding. This case study examines the evolution of a partnership between a community centre and a non-governmental organisation that responded to the needs of local young people.

CHILD PROTECTION, PERMANCY PLANNING AND CHILDREN'S RIGHT TO FAMILY LIFE

P. Parkinson

International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, vol.17, 2003, p.147-172

Modern child protection law demonstrates a tension between two different approaches. The first emphasises the importance of partnership with birth families in the protection of children. The second emphasises the need for children to have security in alternative care arrangements when they cannot remain with their birth families, with a particular focus on adoption. Paper explores this tension through the experience of New South Wales, Australia, where a government proposal to promote adoption as the preferred option for permanency was defeated.

CHILDREN OF THE WELFARE STATE: INDIVIDUALS WITH ENTITLEMENTS OR HIDDEN IN THE FAMILY?

A. Skevik

Journal of Social Policy, vol.32, 2003, p.423-440

Article contrasts the treatment of children in the welfare states of the UK and Norway, focusing on policies towards children living with one parent and the development of universal child benefits. Empirical analysis shows that Norway has a policy towards parents and children as individuals with social rights whereas the UK has a policy towards families as units. In Norway there is a commitment to treating children in similar situations equally. There have been few attempts to draw a distinction between orphaned children and children of unmarried mothers. In Britain, children of unmarried mothers have been treated relatively harshly, due to the "unworthiness" of their parents. In Norway, loss of a biological father gives the child an entitlement to benefits in his/her own right regardless of whether or not the mother remarries. In the UK all extra benefits are withdrawn on remarriage as the family unit is assumed to be complete again.

IMPROVING OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN IN CARE: GIVING YOUTH A VOICE

K. Kufeldt, M. Simard and J. Vachen

Adoption and Fostering, vol.27, no.2, 2003, p.8-19

Describes a three-year research project to adapt the Looking After Children (LAC) material developed in the UK in the 1990s for use in Canada. The overall goals of the project were to enhance the quality of care for children in foster placements and to influence practice in a child-centred direction. Paper discusses the process of introducing the LAC materials into child welfare agencies in six provinces and the impact of the approach on children who participated.

TOWARD CREATING A POLICY OF PERMENANCE FOR AMERICA'S DISPOSABLE CHILDREN: THE EVOLUTION OF FEDERAL FUNDING STATUTES FOR FOSTER CARE FROM 1961 TO PRESENT

D.L. Sanders

International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, vol.17, 2003, p.211-243

Paper analyses the creation and refinement of US foster care policy through three federal statutes: the (nameless) 1961 Act, the Child Welfare Act 1980 and the Adoption and Safe Families Act 1997. These federal foster care funding statutes, which act as a contract between the federal government and states agreeing to their terms, set minimum care standards.

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