|General historical background.|
|Situations for which the service is appropriate.|
|Scope of the service.|
|Processes in offering the service.|
|Problems regarding the service.|
|Trends in offering the service.|
Before presenting a discussion of each of the specific child welfare services, we have included a chapter on the historical and current context of child welfare. This material is designed to provide a frame of reference for the discussion that follows. Following the chapters on each of the services, there is a chapter on child welfare practices in other countries that provides an international perspective on our problems and the way we meet them.
Because readers of the book are likely to be interested in child welfare as a career and because the professional subculture of the child-welfare social worker affects the services offered, the final chapter is a discussion of the sociology of the child welfare worker: demography, recruitment, career line, value orientations, occupational problems, and so on.
Child welfare is defined as a special field within the profession of social work. Social work is concerned with man in relation to his social situation. As a technology, it is responsible for effecting changes in some problem aspect of the client's enactment of his social roles. It may effect such changes by preventing the likelihood of the impairment of social role enactment, by enhancing social role performance, or by helping to restore the capacity to implement social roles effectively.
As a specialized field within social work, child welfare is concerned with the antecedents, concomitants, and consequences of a particular social milieu: the parent-child relationship network and the enactment and implementation of parental roles and child roles.
The recurrent problems for which child welfare has been given some responsibility include those deriving from roles left vacant because of death, hospitalization, illegitimacy, imprisonment, and so on; roles inadequately implemented because of illness, handicap, ignorance, and so on; role rejection, as in cases of abandonment, abuse, and neglect; intrarole conflict; interrole conflict; problems resulting from the child's inability to implement his role; and problems resulting from deficiencies in community resources.
In meeting such problems, child welfare has developed a number of services. These may be grouped as supportive services (family service, child guidance clinics, and protective services), supplementary services (insurance and in