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Fostering AccountabilityUsing Evidence to Guide and Improve Child Welfare Policy$
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Mark F. Testa and John Poertner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195321302

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321302.001.0001

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Child Welfare in the Twenty-First Century

Child Welfare in the Twenty-First Century

Outcomes, Value Tensions, and Agency Risks

(p.35) 2 Child Welfare in the Twenty-First Century
Fostering Accountability

Mark F. Testa

John Poertner

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a general overview of key public interests and organizational principles that shape and define the public role in child welfare. Public child welfare is concerned largely with three major issues: (1) the safety issue of what minimal standards of child protection should be enforced in order to reduce agency risks to the life and health of children; (2) the permanency issue of who should be delegated the discretion to act as agents of children's care and guardianship when protective standards are violated; and (3) the wellbeing issue of how the performance of parents, guardians, and other child-caring agents can be enhanced to promote children's optimal development. These three issues supply a general framework for defining the scope of public child welfare interest and for building a results-oriented accountability (ROA) system that can advance the safety, permanence, and wellbeing of abused and neglected children.

Keywords:   results-oriented accountability, child welfare, public policy, child protection

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