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Child Welfare in the Legal Setting

A Critical and Interpretive Perspective

Thomas M O'Brien



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Routledge Member of the Taylor and Francis Group
05 November 2004
Sociology: family & relationships; Family law; Social security & welfare law
Explore legal issues that often hinder the work of child welfare practitioners!

Child Welfare in the Legal Setting: A Critical and Interpretive Perspective is a revolutionary study of the child welfare system that is essential for practitioners, educators, and students interested in public child welfare work. It examines the legal system surrounding child welfare workers and highlights their need for agency-specific training. This insightful book challenges the traditional rules of child welfare and paves the way for alternate methods of conceptualizing and organizing child protection. It explores why many family interventions fail and others never even occur. By identifying incongruities between the philosophy of child welfare and its function, this book advocates a more individualistic and efficient technique for assisting clients. Addressing issues and challenges from the initial identification of problems to navigating the legal system, this book is also thorough enough for public child welfare workers who want to take their skills to the next level.

The large-system perspective in this book uses the concentric circle model, the rational legal model of legal and court action, and the ritualized process model to examine child welfare practice. Learn why terms such as child abuse and neglect have become social constructions that vary depending on the values of social workers, judges, attorneys, agencies, and communities. Child Welfare in the Legal Setting: A Critical and Interpretive Perspective examines the standardization of the organizational activities of child welfare systems and how this limits professionals' ability to accurately recognize unique problems and intervene in the most beneficial manner.

Child Welfare in the Legal Setting also provides controversial opinions on emerging issues including:

family investigations sanction for Child Protective Services intervention the legal setting as a host environment the function of the child welfare system rationalization of child welfare intervention trained incapacity of social workers Title IVE programs the court system Child Welfare in the Legal Setting: A Critical and Interpretive Perspective identifies vital issues by analyzing the ethical and moral foundations of the child welfare system. This insightful book also takes a close look at how practitioners inadvertently devalue their clients by using language that creates stigmatized social categories such as victim and convicted felon. Supervisors, managers, social workers and child welfare practitioners will benefit from this information. The vignettes that supplement the narrative also make the book an important resource in any child welfare course.
By:   Thomas M O'Brien
Imprint:   Routledge Member of the Taylor and Francis Group
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 211mm,  Width: 170mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   635g
ISBN:   9780789001474
ISBN 10:   0789001470
Pages:   322
Publication Date:   05 November 2004
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Preface and Acknowledgments Chapter 1. Beginnings Introduction The Book: An Overview Some Important Concepts or Assumptions The Individual As Constructing Meaning Abstract Systems Social Institutions As Abstract Systems The Social and Cultural World Conclusion SECTION I: SANCTION, AUTHORITY, AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM Chapter 2. The Institutional Context of Child Welfare Global Perspectives Child Well-Being at Societal, Institutional, and Family Levels International Perspectives on Protecting Children from Parents/Caretakers Child Abuse and Neglect As Social Categories The American Child Welfare System The Organization of Child Welfare Programs Conclusion Chapter 3. Governance, Legitimacy, and Trust Introduction The American System: A Focus on Parental or Caretaker Behavior Child Protective Services As Child Welfare Child Welfare As an Industry Prevention American Child Welfare As Intervention into Family Life Constitutional Rights Conclusion Chapter 4. Multiple Dimensions of Child Welfare Governance Introduction The Constitution and Fragmented Authority The Federalist Structure The Administrative Structure Law and Policy by Appellate Decisions Legislation by Oversight Conclusion Chapter 5. The Organizational Context of Practice Introduction The Community As a Context for Child Welfare The Industrialization of Child Welfare The Effects of Industrialization: Alienation, Trained Incapacity, and Case Production The Social Worker's Role As Mediating Levels of Organization Conclusion Chapter 6. The Legal System As Host Setting: Context and History Introduction Practice in a Host Setting Tensions: Social Workers in Court Settings History of the Social Work Profession Conclusion Chapter 7. Images and Realities of the Legal System: Metaphor, Myths, and Stereotypes Introduction Stereotypes: Their Nature and Action Understanding Conflict Between Social Workers and Attorneys Social Work in Public Child Welfare Conclusion SECTION II: COURTS, MODELS, AND RITUALS Chapter 8. The Courts Introduction The Varieties of Courts Child Welfare Courts: Nonvoluntary Interventions Voluntary Child and Family Courts Ancillary Courts and Legal Issues Litigation: Social Work Liability, Forensic Responsibility, and Agency Action Administrative Reviews: Schools, Welfare, Social Services, Etc. Conclusion: Courts As a Labyrinth Chapter 9. The Concentric Systems View of Child Welfare Introduction Background or Theoretical Underpinnings The Concentric Systems Model Dynamics of the Model Applying the Model A System Overview Using the Concentric Systems Model Summary Chapter 10. The Rationalization of Child Welfare Intervention Introduction The Rational Model The Court Personnel The Social Service Conclusion Chapter 11. Life in Drama and Narrative: Meaning, Self, and Identity Introduction Behavior As Drama and Narrative Child Welfare As Intervention in Social Dramas Conclusion Chapter 12. Social Intervention As Ritualized Action Introduction The Ritual Process Model Conclusion SECTION III: ETHICS, VALUES, AND CONCLUSIONS Chapter 13. Ethics, Values, and Integrity Introducti

Reviews for Child Welfare in the Legal Setting: A Critical and Interpretive Perspective

'A fascinating read, with its descriptions of the glittering centre of an empire. Along with his portrait of Byzantines feasting on spiced wine and sugary sweets, Dalby includes many colourful observations.' - Charles Perry, Cornucopia; 'A delightful book... 'Tastes of Byzantium' offers a novel and humane approach to the Byzantines and their culture, and one that should appeal to Byzantinists as well as general readers.' - The Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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