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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2005): Care Welfare - Overseas

Child welfare and the courts: a state wide study with implications for professional development, practice and change

A.J. Ellett and S.D. Steib

Research on Social Work Practice, Vol.15, 2005, p.339 - 352

The relationship between courts and child welfare in the United States has a history of problems with anecdotal evidence pointing, for example, to tensions between professions and issues of case worker competency. This study, through systematic observation, and interviews with court and welfare staff, identifies critical factors in problematic and successful courts, and those factors impacting on decisions affecting child safety decisions. Results and discussion focus on the need for functional change and effectiveness in courts, implications for welfare staff development and practice, and future research.

Children raised by grandparents: implications for social policy

O.W. Edwards and V.E. Mumford

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 25, no.8, 2005, p.18-27

Article reviews research literature exploring the phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren, focusing on the functioning of both parties. Grandparents who raise their grandchildren experience elevated levels of stress that impact adversely on their social, emotional and physical well-being. Children in these families may experience problems with psychological development, adjustment and educational functioning. Grandparents need economic support and training in parenting from the state; children may need a range of support services at school.

Evaluation of childrenís stay in institutions: what is working?

M. Lepage-Chabriais

Evaluation Review, vol.29, 2005, p.454-466

Article reports results of quantitative and qualitative research into the factors predictive of successful outcomes for maladjusted young people using special education institutions in France. The problems experienced by the young people ranged from offending behaviour to learning difficulties. The quantitative research showed that longer placements of 3-4 years and later exits at age 19 to 21 years were predictive of success.

Evaluation of Michiganís foster care case management system

K. Johnson and D. Wagner

Research on Social Work Practice, Vol.15, 2005, p. 372 - 380

Family reunification and permanent placement of children in foster care increased following piloted case management procedures without any increased chance of returning to foster care. This paper reports on a three year evaluation of pilot and comparison counties in Michigan.

Impact of flexible funds on placement and permanency outcomes for children in child welfare

C. Lehman, S. Liang and K. O'Dell

Research on Social Work Practice, Vol.15, 2005, p.381 - 387

While more flexible funding authorization was associated with children remaining with their families, no increase was noticed in the likelihood of permanence or returning home in Oregon. This paper reports on an evaluation of Oregon's Title IV waiver project which was extended following demonstrated effectiveness, and which, along with 24 other states' projects, allowed more flexible funding and tailoring of child welfare services.

Improving child nutrition? The Integrated Child Development Services in India

M. Lokshin and others

Development and Change, vol.36, 2005, p.613-640

The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme aims to monitor child growth and provide supplementary feeding and preschool education for young children. However levels of child malnutrition have declined slowly during the 1990s. Study shows that one major reason for the limited impact of the ICDS programme on child nutrition levels is its regressive distribution across states: states with the highest prevalence of child malnutrition have the lowest coverage by the programme and receive the least funding for it.

Maybe ignorance is not always bliss: the disparate treatment of Hispanics within the child welfare system

W.T. Church, E.R. Gross and J. Baldwin

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.27, 2005, p.1279-1292

Study explored how US child welfare practices with Hispanic children are different from those applied to White non-Hispanic children. It was a retrospective, two-year, longitudinal survival analysis of differential child welfare placement outcomes of White non-Hispanic and Hispanic children and families with substantiated cases of abuse/neglect. Findings show that, although cases of reported abuse/neglect are relatively proportionate between Hispanic and White non-Hispanic children, substantiated cases are more likely to occur with Hispanic children. These children are more likely to be placed in public care more quickly and for longer periods than their White non-Hispanic counterparts. There is need for increased cultural awareness among child welfare professionals to root out discriminatory practice.

Parent-training programs in child welfare services: planning for a more evidence-based approach to serving biological parents

R.Barth and others

Research on Social Work Practice, Vol.15, 2005, p.353 - 371

Provision of parent training to assist families in keeping children at home and out of public care is a legal responsibility of child welfare services in the USA. This paper brings together evidence about the most promising interventions used in the fields of special education, youth justice and mental health with information about current parent training approaches in child welfare and generates a series of proposals about next steps to enhance the capacity of parent training programmes.

Reintegrating children into the system of substitute care: evaluation of the Exceptional Care Pilot Project

M. Armour and J. Schwab

Research on Social Work Practice, Vol.15, 2005, p.404 - 417

Reduction in aggression and movement back into mainstream care amongst the most dangerous, problematic and hard to place young people followed placement with residential treatment centres with "no-reject, no-eject" policies. This paper looks at an evaluation of a pilot project in Texas with better staff to youth ratios, where endless referral was not an option, and where the research found surprising ability of severely disturbed children to re-enter regular care.

Strengthening families with first-born children: exploratory story of the outcomes of a home visiting intervention la Rosa and others

Research on Social Work Practice, Vol.15, 2005, p.323 - 338

Risks to child welfare in Grant County New Mexico include high numbers of teenage mothers with little parental support, and failed uptake of recommended immunisations. The risks and their consequences are partially addressed by the First-Born Home Visiting programme of preventative intervention. This study reports on a programme evaluation designed to assess the impact on mothers and children. Participating clients showed significantly higher post test scores on measures of family resiliency.

Using evidence-based knowledge to improve policies and practices in child welfare: current thinking and continuing challenges

B. Thomlison

Research on Social Work Practice, Vol.15, 2005, p. 321 - 322

This editorial introduces a special issue on evidence-based child welfare practice which provides an overview of intervention programmes. Touches on problems and aspirations for the research-policy-practice nexus, and cooperation between stakeholders in child welfare systems.

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