PREFACE

This book is a comprehensive study of the principal child welfare services. It begins by defining child welfare, placing it as a field of practice within social work, and presents a scheme for the categorization of child welfare problems in terms of role theory. It goes on to provide a historical perspective on bow and why child welfare services developed and to describe the current socioeconomic context in which they operate. Separate chapters are devoted to each of the principal supportive, supplementary, and substitutive child welfare services: family service and child guidance clinics, the social insurance, aid to families of dependent children, protective services, day care, homemaker service, foster care, adoption, institutional child care. Each chapter includes material on the historical development of the service, the situations for which the service is appropriate, scope of the service, process in offering the service, evaluation of the service, problems encountered by the service, and trends in offering the service.

A chapter on child welfare services in other countries provides an international perspective on the practice of child welfare in the United States. The final chapter is concerned with the sociology of the child welfare worker-characteristics, career routes, occupational problems, and satisfactions.

A special effort has been made to include as much of the relevant research as possible and to supplement material from casework with material available from other practice methods.

The book is directed to the student of social work both at the undergraduate level and at the graduate level. Undergraduate students--whether they plan to work in a social agency after graduation or to go on to a graduate school of social work-will find the material in the text useful preparation. Graduate students enrolled in child welfare seminars or taking courses that are concerned, in part, with child welfare problems will find this a useful, systematic, and detailed review of child welfare services.

The text, then, can appropriately be used at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. The first two editions have been widely used for courses at both levels.

The book is also directed to the child welfare worker currently employed in social agencies. The volume is designed to offer both fully trained professional workers and those with limited professional training a systematic review of the substantive knowledge available concerning child welfare services and to provide a synthesis of widely scattered material for the busy practitioner.

Finally, the book is designed to give the reader a broad knowledge of child welfare services rather than to develop skills for working directly with people who present child welfare problems. The primary purpose of the text is to teach about child welfare-the what and the why-rather than to teach the how of doing child welfare work. It is directed toward developing a knowledge about, concern for, and understanding of child welfare services rather than oriented toward developing technical, professional skills required in treating clients. It is important

-vii-

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