Child Welfare Systems and Migrant Children: A Cross Country Study of Policies and Practice

Child Welfare Systems and Migrant Children: A Cross Country Study of Policies and Practice

Child Welfare Systems and Migrant Children: A Cross Country Study of Policies and Practice

Child Welfare Systems and Migrant Children: A Cross Country Study of Policies and Practice

Synopsis

The book examines where, why and to what extent immigrant children are represented in the child welfare system in different countries. These countries include Australia/New Zealand, Belgium/the Netherlands, England, Estonia, Canada, Finland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Norway, and the United States- all of them having different child welfare philosophies and systems as well as histories and practices in immigration. By comparing policies and practices in child welfare systems (and welfare states), especially in terms of how they conceptualize and deal with immigrant children and their families, we address an immensely important and pressing issue in modern societies. Immigrants in the child welfare system are a critical issue and they seem to face serious challenges that are evident across countries. These are challenges related to lack of language proficiency, lack of knowledge about cultural and social aspects and about the public systems of the destination country. Perhaps most relevantly, the challenges may include collisions of ideas and beliefs about how to raise children, about children's place in the family and society, and about children's rights.

Excerpt

The aim of this book is to examine where, why, and how migrant children are represented in the child welfare systems in 11 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Norway, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States. All of these countries have different histories and practices with migration, as well as various welfare state ideologies and child welfare system approaches. By comparing policies and practices in different types of child welfare systems and welfare states in terms of how they conceptualize and deal with migrant children and their families, we address an immensely important and pressing issue in modern societies. We understand “migrants” as people who move across national boundaries for whatever reason (out of free will or as refugees, displaced persons, etc.). In this book, we study the interactions between child welfare systems with migrants once they have arrived in a destination society of the global north—regardless of whether they intend to move on, return to their sending societies, or permanently settle in the new country as “immigrants.”

Migrant children in the child welfare system are a critical issue, and they seem to face serious challenges that are evident across countries. Children may migrate with their parents, migrate alone, migrate as trafficking victims, or be left behind in the country of origin. Moreover, the contextual and temporal nature of migration has its own consequences for children in terms of health, education, social care, and crime. A range of factors including language and . . .

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