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

The economic self-sufficiency of Wisconsinís former foster youth

A. Dworsky

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.27, 2005, p.1085-1118

Study uses administrative data to examine the self-sufficiency of 8511 young people who were discharged from foster care in Wisconsin between 1992 and 1998. Results showed that most of the young people experienced one of more periods of unemployment during the first two years after leaving foster care, and that their earnings, when employed, were very low. In addition, a significant percentage received cash welfare payments or food stamps during those first two years. Author calls for more investment in independent living programmes for foster care leavers, and for some changes to child welfare policy.

Graduating from the child welfare system: a case study of the leaving care debate in Victoria, Australia

P. Mendes

Journal of Social Work, vol.5, 2005, p.155-171

This study has documented the unsuccessful campaign for adequate leaving care services in Victoria, Australia. Concerns about poor outcomes for care leavers have been brought to public attention by a coalition of researchers, service providers and consumer groups. In particular the national consumer group, the Create Foundation, and the peak child welfare provider group, the Children's Welfare Association of Victoria, have lobbied long and hard for legislative and programme responses to the needs of care leavers. Yet the Victoria government has not provided any ongoing, specific funding for transitional or after-care programmes.

Rescaling social reproduction: childcare in Toronto/Canada and Stockholm/Sweden

R. Mahon

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol.29, 2005, p.341-357

The decline of the male breadwinner/female caregiver family form has led to states being called on to provide childcare places to support dual earner couples. Liberal welfare states tend to respond through the provision of vouchers or subsidies targeted on low-income families, while social democratic regimes have been more likely to develop universal, publicly funded services. Article looks at how two cities bucked the national trend. Toronto in liberal Canada developed high quality, subsidised childcare places available on a first come, first served basis to a wide range of applicants. On the other hand Stockholm in social democratic Sweden experimented with private nursery provision.

Supportive services for immigrant youths in Hong Kong: strategies and outcomes

T. Wing Lo, D.S.W. Wong and S.K. Ma

International Social Work, Vol. 46, 2005, p.441 - 453

In the context of a restructuring of youth services in the 1990s, and an influx of young people from mainland China, this report looks at the services for, and problems experienced by, the new arrivals, and finds positive client reactions to the help aimed at disadvantaged young people. Problems experienced by the new arrivals included poor self-image, need for catch-up learning, discrimination, family difficulties and poor living/working conditions. Services offered included "cultural bridging", guidance and counselling, tutoring, social/community life support, community service involvement, and family activities.

Youth participation in public policy at the municipal level

B. Checkoway, T. Allison and C. Montoya

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.27, 2005, p.1149-1162

Paper describes the San Francisco Youth Commission as an example of youth participation in public policy at the municipal level. Seventeen youth commissioners formulate policy and participate in politics.

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