This book offers an authoritative overview of child care policy and practice in the UK. It covers assessment and family support services, understanding child maltreatment and protection, the care of looked after children, including the contribution of adoption, foster, and residential care, services for those leaving care and barriers facing disabled children and their families.
The book reflects the complexity and contested nature of children's needs, rights, and interests and relationships between family and state. It analyzes relevant debates and research and highlights practice issues and dilemmas. Readers are also directed to sources of further information on topics they may wish to explore in more depth. At the end of each chapter, there is guidance for further reading, resources for practice and questions for discussion.
The book is aimed at social work practitioners and professionals working with children and families as well as undergraduate students in childhood studies or social policy.
Chapter 1: Child Social Work Policy & Practice: An Introduction
Child Social Work Policy & Practice: An Introduction
Child Social Work, State and Family
In principle, the UK's framework for child welfare is fairly straightforward. The dominant assumption is that the upbringing of children is largely a matter for parents or guardians. In turn, the state's role is threefold. First, it sets the legal parameters for parental rights and responsibilities. Second, it offers support to families in areas such as health care, education, housing or cash benefits, either ‘universally’ to all families or more ‘selectively’, based on criteria of deprivation or ‘special needs’. Third, the state has evolved powers and duties to ‘intervene’ in families when there are concerns regarding child welfare, and it is broadly with this role ...