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Social Work and Social DevelopmentTheories and Skills for Developmental Social Work$
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James Midgley and Amy Conley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732326.001.0001

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Social Development, Social Investment, and Child Welfare

Social Development, Social Investment, and Child Welfare

(p.31) 2 Social Development, Social Investment, and Child Welfare
Social Work and Social Development


Oxford University Press

The American child welfare system has traditionally taken a residual approach to serving families, intervening only in the worst cases of child maltreatment. A number of scathing indictments have been leveled against the traditional American child welfare system, suggesting that new ideas are needed to better meet the needs of children and families. By contrast, a social development approach enhances the capacities of parents and communities to care for children and addresses the problem of poverty, which is endemic to child maltreatment. This chapter first describes conventional child welfare practices and then compares them to a social development approach. While the social development approach to child welfare is still being formulated, potential strategies can be drawn from American and international experiences in child care and family support. These consist of linking child welfare practice with building community capacity, improving economic self-sufficiency, and promoting early child care and development.

Keywords:   child welfare, social work, social development, child maltreatment, prevention

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