A comparative study of child welfare systems: Abstract orientations and concrete results
A comparative analysis of child welfare systems in 10 countries identifies three broad functional orientations – child protection, family service and child development – around the problem definition, mode of intervention and role of the state: The changes in policies and practices since the mid-1990s suggest the possibility of functional convergence among these systems with moderate versions of the child protection and family service orientations incorporated within the more comprehensive approach of child development. An analysis of administrative data on one important outcome reveals that over the last decade nine of the 10 countries experienced an increasing rate of out-of-home placements. A critical examination of the data illustrates the necessity of determining how the rates are calculated, what is included in these counts and what the numbers signify to fully comprehend the implications of this trend.
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