Chapter

Social Development, Social Investment, and Child Welfare

AMY CONLEY

in Social Work and Social Development

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732326
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199863471 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732326.003.0002
Social Development, Social Investment, and Child Welfare

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The American child welfare system has traditionally taken a residual approach to serving families, intervening only in the worst cases of child maltreatment. A number of scathing indictments have been leveled against the traditional American child welfare system, suggesting that new ideas are needed to better meet the needs of children and families. By contrast, a social development approach enhances the capacities of parents and communities to care for children and addresses the problem of poverty, which is endemic to child maltreatment. This chapter first describes conventional child welfare practices and then compares them to a social development approach. While the social development approach to child welfare is still being formulated, potential strategies can be drawn from American and international experiences in child care and family support. These consist of linking child welfare practice with building community capacity, improving economic self-sufficiency, and promoting early child care and development.

Keywords: child welfare; social work; social development; child maltreatment; prevention

Chapter.  11586 words. 

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