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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2004): Child Welfare - Overseas

BRIDGING A GAP

J. Baskott

Professional Social Work, June 2004, p.15

The Ukraine relies heavily on institutional care for children who can't live with their parents. There are few services which prevent placement by supporting families and almost no alternatives to institutional placement. The article describes a project managed by EveryChild to help social workers build on good practice and extend family social care services across the Ukraine.

COMPLEXITY, CONFLICT AND UNCERTAINTY: ISSUES IN COLLABORATION BETWEEN CHILD PROTECTION AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Y. Darlington, J.A. Feeney and K. Rixon

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.26, 2004, p.1175-1192

Article reports on new data from a large mixed-method research project that aims to identify and examine the current collaborative practices of child protection and mental health workers. Analyses revealed that a great deal of collaboration occurred across a wide range of government and community-based agencies; that collaborative processes were often rewarding for workers; and that collaboration was most difficult when the nature of the parental mental illness or the need for child protection intervention was contested. The difficulties experienced included communication, role clarity, competing primary focus, contested parental mental health needs, contested child protection needs, and resources.

THE CONTEMPORARY SITUATION AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES FOR FOSTER CARE IN BULGARIA

S.T. Nunev

European Journal of Social Work, vol.7, 2004, p.341-349

At the present time children at risk in Bulgaria are taken into care in state institutions of a boarding school kind. The government faces the challenge of developing an alternative system of foster care. Article presents some possible directions which could help the transition to a system of foster care.

THE EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS OF LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN - DO WELFARE SYSTEMS MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUTCOMES?

A. Weyts

Adoption and Fostering, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2004, p.7-19

The article examines the educational experiences of looked after children in four European countries - Great Britain, Norway, Spain and Belgium - to see whether educational outcomes fluctuate across the different types of welfare state. Research considered the type of care received (foster or residential) and the nature and severity of the children's needs in order to make valid comparisons. Results show that although welfare systems influenced children's placement patterns and the services offered to them, the effect on their education was less clear. The article concludes by discussing the implications of the findings for policy and practice.

A NEW PLACE IN THE FAMILY

M. Daniel

Professional Social Work, June 2004, p.18-19

The article explores kinship care in Botswana, and the difficulties grandparents, aunts and siblings face when their role in the family changes to that of a parent.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF THE PUSH FOR ACCOUNTABILITY : THE CASE OF NATIONAL CHILD WELFARE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

M.E. Courtney, B. Needell and F. Wulczyn

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.26, 2004. p.1141-1154

The US federal government is in the midst of trying to hold states accountable for achieving quantifiable outcomes for children in public care through a system of performance standards. Article presents a critique of the national standards used in the new Child and Family Service Reviews being conducted by the federal government and suggests new directions. Points to the conceptual limitations of current national standards and uses empirical evidence to illustrate this. Concludes with recommendations for new standards.

WORK AND CARE STRATEGIES OF EUROPEAN FAMILIES: SIMILARITIES OR NATIONAL DIFFERENCES?

T.P. Larson

Social Policy and Administration, Vol. 38, 2004, p.654-677

The article examines the work and care strategies of full-time working families with children across four European countries - Finland, Italy, Portugal and the UK. It explores the things that affect child care arrangements, including working schedules, gender roles, availability of childcare facilities, children's ages etc, as well as the influence of the different welfare states. It finds that families in similar work and care situations tend to employ the same work-life balance strategies and that traditional country ideologies did not apply.

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