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Welfare reform on the Web (July 2007): Child welfare - overseas

A complex but increasingly coherent journey? The emergence of 'youth policy' in Europe

H. Williamson

Youth and Policy, issue 95, 2007, p. 57-72

The two major European institutions, the European Commission and the Council of Europe, have both become increasingly committed to a youth agenda, but have focused on very different priorities. Not until after the year 2000 did they begin to work more collaboratively on a framework of 'youth practice' incorporating youth work and training, youth research and youth policy. This paper charts the range of disparate initiatives that have slowly coalesced to form that framework, which may now be considered to be a youth policy framework for Europe.

Quo vadis? Trends in South African child welfare policies

J. Schmid

International Social Work, vol.50, 2007, p. 500-514

More than a decade after the fall of apartheid, South Africa remains in transition. This is apparent in the social welfare field, where the shift away from an individualistic, discriminatory and remedial model towards a holistic, family-centred, community-based, strengths-informed approach is presenting challenges. An examination of post-apartheid child welfare policies suggests that thinking about children and their families has changed only minimally, and is still based on a narrow Anglo-American child protection model rather than on a family services or community care model.

The responsibility dance: creating neoliberal children

G. Craddock

Childhood, vol. 14, 2007, p. 153-172

The past decades have seen a resurgent discourse on both the political left and right on the need for government in the shape of the welfare state to intrude less into citizens’ private lives. This article explores the implications of this critique for foster children in Canada. Two recent judicial decisions (one from the Supreme Court) have affirmed the primacy of the independence of the foster family from government regulation. Thus the state has abnegated its responsibility as legal guardian for the welfare of the children it has placed in foster care. These children are left at the mercy of potentially abusive foster carers and may also be expelled from the family if their conduct is disruptive. In this way the perception of children as rights bearers is undermined through a conception of children as members of families independent of government.

Who suspects and reports child maltreatment to social services in Sweden? Is there a reliable mandatory reporting process?

M. Cocozza, P.A. Gustafsson and G. Sydsjo

European Journal of Social Work, vol. 10, 2007, p. 209-223

Sweden has a mandatory reporting law that obliges professionals and encourages the public to report child protection concerns to social services. There is no separate child protection system in Sweden, and investigation is the responsibility of local social services departments. Children are not entered on the child protection register if the report is dismissed as groundless without investigation. Sweden does not maintain a national child protection register and all records are kept locally. This study contributes to the evaluation of the effectiveness of Sweden’s mandatory child abuse reporting system.

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