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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2005): Child Welfare - Overseas

CREATING PATHWAYS TO PARTICIPATION: A COMMUNITY-BASED DEVELOPMENTAL PREVENTION PROJECT IN AUSTRALIA

K. Freiberg and others

Children and Society, vol.19, 2005, p.144-157

The Pathways to Prevention Project focuses on facilitating the transition to school in a disadvantaged multicultural urban area in Queensland. The Preschool Intervention Programme (PIP) promotes language and social skills related to school success while the Family Independence Programme (FIP) promotes family capacity to foster child development through parent training, facilitated playgroups, support groups, etc.

EFFECTS OF EXPERIMENTAL CENTER-BASED CHILD CARE ON DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOMES OF YOUNG CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY

K. Lee

Social Service Review, vol.79, 2005, p.158-180

The Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP) provides high quality, centre-based child care for poor families. Study uses data from the IHDP to examine whether maternal employment influences the cognitive and behavioural outcomes of children living in poverty and whether centre-based care contributes to enhancing their developmental outcomes. Results suggest that children who spend more hours in quality centre-based child care have higher cognitive test scores and fewer behavioural problems at age 3. As mothers work more, children gain more benefits when they receive more hours of centre-based care.

EVALUATING FAMILY PRESERVATION SERVICES: REFRAMING THE QUESTION OF EFFECTIVENESS

S. Bagdasaryan

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.27, 2005, p.615-635

Most descriptive studies cite the effectiveness of family preservation services (FPS) in keeping families together, while experimental studies report mixed findings. This article explores two questions:

  • for which families are FPS effective?
  • under what circumstances are family preservation services effective in preventing placement of children in foster care?

Analysis of data from case files of 488 families who had received FPS in Los Angeles County showed that services were less effective for single parents, and for families who had previously had a child placed in foster care. Duration of services emerged as a key predictor of outcome in that the longer a family received services, the greater the likelihood of success

FROM BEHIND DYKES AND DUNES: COMMUNITIES THAT CARE IN THE NETHERLANDS

H.B. Jonkman, J. Junger-Tas and B. van Dijk

Children and Society, vol.19, 2005, p.105-116

Describes how the Communities that Care approach was transplanted from the USA to the Netherlands. The approach involves mapping the needs of young people in a particular area and tackling problem behaviour through the use of tested interventions which have been proved to be effective.

INVOLVEMENT OF TANF APPLICANT FAMILIES WITH CHILD WELFARE SERVICES

M.E. Courtney and others

Social Service Review, vol.79, 2005, p.119-157

Study explored the extent to which changes in US public assistance programmes affect the provision of child welfare services such as child protection, adoption and fostering. Article begins by exploring the level of child welfare services involvement of a sample of Milwaukee County TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) applicants compared with a sample of AFDC (Assistance to Families with Dependent Children) applicants. Findings suggest that there is a high level of overlap between the TANF and child welfare populations. Concludes that as numbers on welfare rolls fall, those families remaining on them will have multiple problems and will be more likely to be involved with child welfare services.

NEITHER SEEN NOR HEARD: CHILDREN'S CITIZENSHIP IN CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES

E.F. Cohen

Citizenship Studies, vol.9, 2005, p.221-240

Children in liberal democracies are represented politically by their parents, who are seen as having an unquestioned right to raise them as they see fit. Lacking independent representation and a voice in politics, children and their interests often fail to be understood because the adults who do represent them substitute their own views for those of the children. Disregard for children's interests is increased by the tendency of democratic societies to view them as future adults not as an ever-present segment of the population.

PRINCIPLES FOR DEVELOPING YOUTH POLICY: KANT'S CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL ETHICS

J. Bessant

Policy Studies, vol.26, 2005, p.103-116

Article argues that a dissonance exists between popular narratives describing "our" enlightened treatment of young people and actual policies and practices that fail to promote youth development and cause harm and injury. Identifies key problems with liberalism and shows how they work against a fair and just youth policy. Goes on to articulate ten core principles drawn from the work of Martha Nussbaum and her idea of human functional capabilities which provide a developmental ethics approach to policy making. The application of these principles would help to ensure an environment in which all young people could thrive intellectually, physically and creatively.

REFORMING THE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM: COMPETING PARADIGMS OF CHANGE

B. J. Cohen

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.27, 2005, p.653-666

Efforts to reform the child welfare system in the United States have been hampered by the tendency of would-be reformers to operate from very different "world views" about how complex social systems work. Paper identifies four fundamentally different paradigms or perspectives on reform and examines each one's strengths and weaknesses. Goes on to suggest ways of creating a unified approach to system reform that encompasses more than one perspective.

A SEA CHANGE ON THE ISLAND CONTINENT: FRAMEWORKS FOR RISK ASSESSMENT, PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION IN CHILD HEALTH IN AUSTRALIA

J. Williams and others

Children and Society, vol.19, 2005, p.91-104

Paper presents an overview of a selection of early intervention and preventive programmes aimed at improving the health of children and young people. The movement to encourage early intervention and prevention in Australia has been unique in promoting the coordination of harm minimisation and developmental preventive frameworks. There is increasing recognition that encouraging healthy child development will require intensive co-ordination of efforts at the community level to create positive social environments.

SOCIAL SUPPORT FOR CHANGES IN ADOPTION PRACTICE: GAY ADOPTION, OPEN ADOPTION, BIRTH REUNIONS, AND THE RELEASE OF CONFIDENTIAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

C.E. Miall and K. March

Families in Society vol. 86, no.1, 2005, p.83 - 92

Reports on a Canadian study and compares its findings with United States research on public opinion about adoption within evolving family configurations. The paper discusses the findings drawing implications for practice and highlighting a "cultural lag" in policy.

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