Overview of Child Welfare

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People may wonder which profession in our society is dedicated to the well-being of children: the answer is social work in the field of Child Welfare. Child welfare is a segment of social work that is vital to the health and stability of the children and families in our society. These social workers provide a multitude of different services, some of which include working in the foster care system, child protective services, as caseworkers, and as therapists. They work with children and adults alike, making it their mission to provide the resources and services necessary for children to be in the most safe and healthy environment and situation possible. Definition of Child Welfare Child welfare ensures “that children are safe and protected from any harm” (Berg-Weger, 2013). Social workers in this field “protect vulnerable children and help families in need of assistance”, “intervene when children are in danger of neglect or abuse”, and some even arrange “adoptions, locate foster families, or work to get families back together” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). This is the second largest area of social work, especially for those with a bachelor’s degree in social work (Berg-Weger, 2013). The primary purpose of child welfare is to keep children protected and safe from harm (Whitaker, Reich, Reid, Williams, & Woodside, 2004). The secondary purpose is to “provide necessary services to the families of children at risk, to improve conditions in their homes and bring stability to their family units” (Whitaker et al., 2004). According to the National Association of Social Workers, “this system includes both public and private agencies, and works in close partnership with – and relies on – many other community systems, such ... ... middle of paper ... ...rkers. (2013b). Social Work: Purpose & Possibility: NASW Membership Benefits & Services. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/nasw/join/membershipbrochure.pdf National Association of Social Workers. (n.d.). Children and Families. Retrieved from http://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/features/issue/children.asp U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2014). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social Workers (2014-15th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-2 Whitaker, T., Reich, S., Reid, L.V.B., Williams, M., & Woodside, C. (2004). “If You’re Right for the Job, It’s the Best Job in the World”: The National Association of Social Workers’ Child Welfare Specialty Practice Section Members Describe their Experiences In Child Welfare. Retrieved from http://www.naswdc.org/practice/children/NASWChildWelfareRpt062004.pdf
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