Child Protection Systems is a comparative study of the social policies and professional practices that frame societal responses to the problems of child maltreatment in ten countries: USA, Canada, England, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Norway. Focusing on the developments in policy and practice since the mid-1990s, this volume provides a detailed, up-to-date analysis of the similarities and differences in how child protection systems operate and their outcomes. The findings highlight the changing criteria that define child maltreatment, trends in out-of-home placement, professional responses to allegations of maltreatment, and the level of state responsibility for child and family welfare, providing an in-depth understanding of the different ways modern welfare states assume the sensitive responsibility of balancing children's rights and parents' rights.
The changing character of child protection systems worldwide reflects dramatic and rapid organizational, policy, and legislative changes; the expansion of child welfare systems; the rise of formal procedures and evidence-based initiatives; the increased challenges posed by race and ethnicity; and the extent to which countries adopt either a child protection or a family service approach to child abuse. Each chapter analyzes these developments and the directions in which they are heading, such as movements toward privatization and devolution of child welfare service delivery. Against this backdrop, a third approach begins to emerge-a child-focused orientation-that aims to promote and improve children's development and well-being. A vital book for understanding contemporary trends and policy issues in the design of child protection systems, this will be must reading for comparative scholars of child welfare, family policy, and the welfare state.