People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia traces the evolution of policies and programs intended to protect children in BC from neglect and abuse. Analyzing this evolution reveals that child protection policy and practice has reflected the priorities of politicians and public servants in power. With few exceptions, efforts to establish effective programs have focused on structural arrangements, staffing responsibilities, and rules to regulate the practice of child welfare workers.
Contributors to this book conclude that these attempts have been unsuccessful thus far because they have failed to address the impact of poverty on clients. The need to respect the cultural traditions and values of First Nations clients has also been ignored. Effective services require recognizing and remedying poverty's impact, establishing community control over services, and developing a radically different approach to the day-to-day practice of child welfare workers.
People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia provides a crucial assessment of the state of child welfare in the province. Practitioners, scholars, and students in social work, child and youth care, education, and other human-service professions will find this book particularly important.
Leslie T. Foster teaches in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria. Brian Wharf is professor emeritus from the same Faculty.
Contributors: Marilyn Callahan and Christopher Walmsley; Sandra Scarth and Richard Sullivan; Maggie Kovachs, Robina Thomas, Monty Montgomery, Jacquie Green, and Leslie Brown; Andrew Armitage and Elaine Murray; Marilyn Callahan and Karen Swift; Riley Hern and John Cossom; Brad McKenzie, Sally Palmer, and Wanda Thomas Barnard; and Deryck Thomson.
Foreword / Deryck Thomson
Introduction: People, Politics, and Child Welfare / Brian Wharf
1 Rethinking Child Welfare Reform in British Columbia, 1900-60 / Marilyn Callahan and Christopher Walmsley
2 Trends in Child Welfare: What Do the Data Show? / Leslie T. Foster
3 The Community Resource Board Experience / Brian Wharf
4 Child Welfare in the 1980s: A Time of Turbulence and Change / Sandra Scarth and Richard Sullivan
5 Witnessing Wild Woman: Resistance and Resilience in Aboriginal Child Welfare / Maggie Kovachs, Robina Thomas, Monty Montgomery, Jacquie Green, and Leslie Brown
6 The Community Advocate Minister: Attempting Major Changes / Riley Hern and John Cossom
7 Thomas Gove: A Commission of Inquiry Puts Children First and Proposes Community Governance and Integration of Services / Andrew Armitage and Elaine Murray
8 Great Expectations and Unintended Consequences: Risk Assessment in Child Welfare in British Columbia / Marilyn Callahan and Karen Swift
9 Back to the Future: Toward Community Governance / Leslie T. Foster
10 Views from Other Provinces / Brad McKenzie, Sally Palmer, and Wanda Thomas Barnard
11 The Case for a Comprehensive Vision for Child Welfare / Brian Wharf
12 From Child Protection to Safeguarding: The English Context / Tony Morrison
13 Final Thoughts / Brian Wharf
Appendix 1: Key Events in British Columbia Child Welfare, 1863 to May 2006
Appendix 2: Key Government Decision Makers in British Columbia Child Welfare, 1947 to May 2006
Appendix 3: Delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agencies’ Status, May 2006
List of Contributors
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