This course will look at the major historical, ideological, legal, and professional themes that inform child welfare policy. Issues including current legislation, history of child welfare, foster care, and adoption will be examined. In particular, we will focus on the social construction of mothering, of child neglect and of child abuse. Contemporary policies and programs for populations disproportionately engaged with child welfare services including Aboriginal children, immigrant and refugee children, and children of single parents will be examined. Students will be expected to engage in a process of integrating factors of gender, class, disability, race, culture and sexual orientation into their critical analysis of the ideological nature of Child Welfare.
This course does not teach you specifically how to become a worker in child protection, although we will discuss child protection, frameworks and issues of child protection work. Rather, it is intended to give you a perspective on the breadth and scope of Child Welfare work, and the issues that face workers in terms of policy, practice, ideology, and ethical issues. The course will be of interest to any students who will be working with children and families.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have:
1) An understanding of the major historical, ideological, legal and professional themes that inform child welfare policy.
2) The ability to critically analyze current policy and practice issues in child welfare and their implications for social work practice.
3) The ability to articulate and integrate one’s personal and professional ethical perspective and its influence on social work practice in child welfare.
4) The ability to articulate the relationship of child protection, child welfare, structural realities, and the implications for practice.
5) An understanding of the role of the state in defining and influencing child welfare practices.
6) The ability to analyze social issues affecting children and families.
7) An understanding of racism, sexism, and heterosexism in child welfare services.
Kufeldt, K. & McKenzie, B. (Eds.) (2011) Child Welfare: Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice. (2nd Edition) Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press.
STUDENT EVALUATION PROCEDURE
One page Individual Paper Proposal for your Final 10-12 page paper
Assignment #2: Critical Analysis and Child Welfare Paper
Length: 10-12 pages typed, double-spaced. References and title page on additional pages.
An outline of your final paper is required. This only requires a brief (one page) identifying your topic and why you have chosen it, and possible literatures that you will examine to complete the paper. TOPIC: Single Parent fathers.
Purpose: This 10-12 page and double-spaced paper (reference list will be in addition to the pages). It is a major research paper and it is an opportunity for you to:
- identify your emerging theoretical and ethical perspective regarding an issue in child welfare and
- identify the ways in which your perspective informs and guides your social work practice in child welfare in general, and/or with children and families
- Your focus should be on an issue that is either currently critical in child welfare or which has future implications for practice and policy.
In this paper you are required to explore critically and in more depth, a topic relevant to the policy and practice of child welfare. You are expected to develop your own ideas and understanding of a specific topic using course material and library research, as well as relevant practice experience.
- The term paper must be more than just descriptive, that is, you are expected to demonstrate a critical understanding and analysis of the issues involved.
- You must present an idea, issue or topic and present it critically, by looking at different arguments and points of view as well as your own.
- You must also explain and/or defend your point of view.
The paper is intended to give you an opportunity to reflect on and challenge your current assumptions and philosophies about social work practice in child welfare, and to identify the major conceptual and theoretical ideas that support your approach to practice.
- The paper should convey your grasp of what BELIEFS and THEORIES you bring to practice, and what you are trying to accomplish through your practice.
- The paper identifies your understanding of the issue, but this goes beyond describing the issue, it uses a critical analysis to review the issue.
- In reading the paper, it should be evident: how you have gained a sense of what major questions remain unanswered for you, and
- How do you anticipate reconciling these questions in your every day practice?
- What theories help frame the issue? What ethical issues are a part of this child welfare issue?
- In your concluding remarks, you are expected to name current unresolved issues in your selected area of child welfare, as well as identify implications for practice.
- This paper is both a personal and scholarly reflection on your emerging practice as a social worker.
References: You should draw from between 12 and 15 “good” peer reviewed references for this major paper. The references must come from articles from journals, book chapters, books, reports, and articles from the class.
Reminder: use APA, 6th edition writing, formatting, and reference style, and the School of Social Work and Human Services APA Template.