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date: 03 December 2022

Child Welfare: Overviewlocked

Child Welfare: Overviewlocked

  • John Paul Horn, John Paul HornCalifornia State University, East Bay
  • Emily BruceEmily BruceSan Jose State University
  •  and Toni NaccaratoToni NaccaratoCalifornia State University, East Bay

Summary

In the United States, the child welfare system is composed of multiple services to keep children safe, either by strengthening family units, preventing maltreatment, or providing alternative care arrangements for children who are unable to safely remain at home. These services include child protection, family support and maintenance programs, reunification, and out-of-home care. Some children return safely to their families, but other children might never return home. Services for these youth might include adoption, guardianship, and/or transitional planning for youth exiting foster care to adulthood.

Case-carrying social workers hold responsibility for assessing the case, making recommendations to the court, and preparing reports for parents, court officers, and sometimes for dependent children (based on their age). These individuals are professional social workers with graduate degrees in social work. Case aids or case assistants often provide support services for the case-carrying social worker.

Subjects

  • Children and Adolescents
  • Macro Practice
  • Populations and Practice Settings

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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