Canadian Child Welfare

Karen J. Swift

in Child Protection Systems

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199793358
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895137 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Canadian Child Welfare

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This chapter argues that the basic direction of Canadian child welfare has not changed over the last decade from its focus on child protection, and that the service remains decidedly residual. Although policies and services in Canada’s thirteen jurisdictions at times shift somewhat in the direction of family support, the driving force over the past ten or fifteen years has been intensified attention to risk and security. The chapter examines Canada’s “social safety net”, which provides the context for child welfare work, and some of the historical roots of policy. Current information about legislation, work processes and the children and families in contact with child protection services is presented. Also explored are two recent trends that affect the climate of child welfare practice and policy: changes in federal law on corporal punishment (the “spanking law”) and the pervasive use of risk assessment tools.

Keywords: social safety net; Aboriginal child welfare; child in need of protection; out of home care; spanking law; risk assessment

Chapter.  10575 words. 

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