Child Welfare

Jill Duerr Berrick and Colleen Henry

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:
Child Welfare

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The field of child welfare encompasses a range of family challenges and service responses. Traditional child welfare services are typically enacted in response to concerns about child maltreatment and signal significant family problems relating to neglect, child physical abuse, child sexual abuse, or other related family issues. In the United States, almost one million children were identified as victims of child maltreatment in 2008 following more than three million child-maltreatment reports to social service agencies. Service responses include prevention-oriented services, in-home services, or out-of-home care (e.g., foster care, kinship care, group care, etc.). For children separated from their parents, federal mandates require child welfare workers and the courts to identify permanency options so that the child can be raised in a healthy, committed family. Reunification with parents is the preferred permanency option, but other permanency opportunities may be pursued such as adoption or legal guardianship. For older youth, exits from care may eventuate in “independent living” following emancipation from care. Post-permanency services are growing in availability for many children and families. Although a large body of literature identifies the characteristics of children and families served by the child welfare system and system-level outputs, less is known about the outcomes associated with child welfare services, an area of inquiry ripe for significant research.

Article.  12344 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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