Child welfare practice in New Zealand

Challenges and possibilities

Authored by: Robyn Munford , Jackie Sanders

The Routledge Handbook of Global Child Welfare

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138942752
eBook ISBN: 9781315672960
Adobe ISBN: 9781317374749


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The provision of responsive child welfare services that are able to meet the diverse needs of families and achieve meaningful outcomes continues to be a challenge for policy makers and practitioners around the globe (Featherstone, Broadhurst and Holt, 2011; Featherstone, Morris and White, 2013; Featherstone, White and Morris, 2014; Keddell, 2014). Tensions exist among politicians, policy makers and practitioners, who all have different perspectives on how best to respond to the changing needs of families who face multiple challenges. At the core of these debates is gaining agreement on the factors that contribute to good practice and are able to significantly enhance the well-being of families and children. Historical and current debates in child welfare provision focus on the assessment of risk and safety and the role of the state in the provision of care to vulnerable populations, including its relationships with nongovernmental organizations and informal support networks. Questions about child welfare provision are concerned with which services should be universally available to all families, and which services should be targeted and directed at families who are perceived to be the most at risk. These approaches are strongly aligned to political and economic ideologies that determine societal responses to risk and to need (Featherstone et al., 2014).

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