Child Welfare and Child Protection is an excellent resource for Title IV-E funded education and training programs. The real-world cases and relevant research presented within the text serve as valuable references and learning materials for service providers, foster and adoptive parents, and kinship caregivers involved in the lives of foster children and youth, as well as public and private agencies that work with children, youth, and families.
The book effectively bridges the gap between the academic setting and the training environment, providing readers with a highly practical toolbox of contemporary research, practitioner-vetted and informed strategies, and ample opportunities to experience and think through a variety of challenging scenarios and situations. The text is designed to allow the reader to both discover and better understand the intended and unintended consequences of particular decisions within the field. It prepares individuals to effectively handle difficult situations and confidently make critical, life-changing decisions. Readers explore the myriad “gray areas” of child welfare and child protection, placing themselves within the complex situations they may experience. With an emphasis on practical skill-building, the text prepares readers to face challenges, approach situations with care, and in doing so, positively impact the lives of others.
Chapters of Note
Child Welfare and Child Protection features a collection of chapters that are both unique in nature and invaluable for anyone working within the field.
Chapters 4, 5, and 6 feature focus on investigations, ongoing services, and permanency. Rather than addressing these topics separately, a common thread connects them to further illustrate the overarching process: the Perkins family. Readers follow along as a Child Protective Services investigator looks into allegations of child maltreatment within the family, an ongoing caseworker steps in to provide services to the family to address high-risk behaviors and ensure long-term safety for the children, and the final decision is made as to whether reunification or adoption is the best solution for the Perkins children. Throughout the chapters, vignettes tell the story of everyone involved in the Perkins family case and additional information and tips show how and why certain decisions are made. This approach allows readers to see the collective impact of various processes, procedures, and interactions on everyone involved in the case.
Chapter 9 features a unique focus on special populations, introducing readers to those they are likely to encounter when working in child protection. It addresses children with substance abuse issues, those who have mental health concerns, those who are sexual offenders, children with intellectual disabilities, pregnant teens, runaways, gang members, human trafficking victims, and children of immigrants. The chapter emphasizes the development of specific plans for intervention that are rooted in a clear understanding of childrens’ situations or constellations of problems or needs.
Chapter 11 is dedicated to the topic of working on a child protection team. It covers the critical role of supervision, how to effectively partner with community organizations and resources, and the importance of collaborating toward the betterment of vulnerable populations despite personal attitudes, biases, backgrounds, or differences of opinion. The chapter also helps readers better understand the variety of legal mandates, policies, and contextual factors that may be in play when working on a child protection team and how specific protocols can affect a case. Understanding the chain of command and how everything operates within a specific organization is critical to making progress. This chapter helps readers prepare to navigate such environments.
Chapter 12 addresses self-care, finding balance, and preventing problems. This chapter recognizes the stress, pressure, and challenges inherent to working in child welfare and child protection and guides readers through the development of a personalized, proactive self-care plan. Readers are introduced to research in the field that speaks to vicarious and secondary trauma, the impact of high levels of stress on individuals, and the importance of finding work-life balance. The chapter examines real-world issues and emotions that professionals in child welfare and child protection experience and provides solutions that allow individuals to avoid problems and remain within the field rather than leaving this important work due to burnout or personal issues.
Presenting the latest research and literature in the field and acting as a catalyst for practical application, Child Welfare and Child Protection is an invaluable resource for Title IV-E funded programs run in the U.S.