Special Issue "Child Protection and Child Welfare"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ian Kelvin Hyslop
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Interests: social work; social exclusion, child protection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special edition of the open access journal Societies (ISSN 2075-4698) is concerned with the interface between child welfare and child protection. In Anglophone countries, child protection systems are at something of a crossroads. The template for child protection has changed little since the 1960s, and there is significant debate internationally over the need for a paradigm shift. Furthermore, the targeting of problem families as the source of social ills connects with liberal politics, the capitalist social form, and the eugenic populationist approaches to poverty that emerged in the late nineteenth century.

Recent research has delivered clear evidence that the notify, detect and assess model of statutory child protection delivers unequal outcomes in terms of gender, class and racial bias in societies characterized by social and economic inequality. State care during the latter half of the twentieth century delivered a damaging legacy that continues to echo in the present. These disturbing patterns beg critical questions about the design of child welfare services, including the way that authority is distributed between the state and communities of interest, the balance between support services and coercive intervention, and the relationship with wider policies of economic distribution and community empowerment. The future of policy and practice will also be impacted by the intervention possibilities that arise from the analysis of population datasets and the use and abuse of algorithmic governance.

Child welfare and child protection initiatives are politically located and contested. Globally, systems of child protection are developing in response to local and regional needs and changing perceptions about children’s rights during a period of rapid social and economic change, including the suffering and insecurity generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The construction—or reconstruction—of child protection systems in this context potentially provides an opportunity to learn from the past and opens the possibility for progressive research-informed development. This should provoke wider debate about the nature and function of social work in relation to child wellbeing, including the role of the profession in responding to individual needs and systemic disadvantages.

Contributors are invited to submit research-based articles and/or academic commentary pieces between 4000 and 6000 words in length that address some of the questions arising from the above and begin to explore fresh visions in the design of child welfare and child protection practice in national and/or global contexts.

The contributions must follow one of the three categories (article/review/conceptual paper) of papers for the journal and address the topic of the Special Issue.

Dr. Ian Kelvin Hyslop
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as conceptual papers are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • child welfare
  • child protection
  • inequality
  • poverty
  • surveillance
  • intervention
  • children’s rights

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Protection of Immigrant Children and Youth at Risk: Experiences and Strategies of Social Integration in Portugal
Societies 2021, 11(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040122 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 222
Abstract
Over the years, social projects and programmes in Portugal have resulted in actions and outcomes to improve the integration and social inclusion of immigrant children and young people in socially vulnerable territories. This article aims to analyse the intervention experiences of teams with [...] Read more.
Over the years, social projects and programmes in Portugal have resulted in actions and outcomes to improve the integration and social inclusion of immigrant children and young people in socially vulnerable territories. This article aims to analyse the intervention experiences of teams with immigrant children and young people at risk. The developed study focused on a qualitative approach through the systematisation of measures to protect the rights of immigrant children and young people in Portugal. Semi-structured interviews were also carried out with professionals working in multidisciplinary teams intervening with immigrant children and young people. The results allow the identification of strategies and intervention methods with a positive impact on social integration supported by collaborative and participatory methodologies, but also highlight limitations such as cultural and linguistic barriers, and lack of children’s participation. Thus, it becomes fundamental to value the central role of children and young people in promoting and guaranteeing their rights. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Protection and Child Welfare)
Article
Social Representations of Children and Parents in Parliamentary-Committee Debates about the Inclusion of Child Psychological Maltreatment in the Quebec Youth Protection Act
Societies 2021, 11(3), 114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11030114 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Child psychological maltreatment (CPM) was incorporated into the Quebec Youth Protection Act (YPA) in 2006. At that time, various civil-society actors were invited to present to Parliament their views on these legislative changes. The objective of this article is to document the social [...] Read more.
Child psychological maltreatment (CPM) was incorporated into the Quebec Youth Protection Act (YPA) in 2006. At that time, various civil-society actors were invited to present to Parliament their views on these legislative changes. The objective of this article is to document the social representations mobilized by the stakeholders in the parliamentary committee in relation to the inclusion of CPM in the Quebec YPA. After explaining our research objectives, questions, and methodology, we will discuss our results, in particular about the distinctive nature of children as a representational object. This specificity will be analyzed in order to better understand the type of communication it generates and the corresponding hegemonic representation of parents. Specifically, implications related to the representational dynamics identified are discussed in relation to our collective capacity (or incapacity) to debate sensitive issues such as child abuse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Protection and Child Welfare)

Other

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Concept Paper
The “Undeserving” Narrative in Child and Family Social Work and How It Is Perpetuated by “Progressive Neoliberalism”: Ideas for Social Work Education
Societies 2021, 11(4), 123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11040123 - 08 Oct 2021
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Abstract
“Progressive neoliberalism” is the current hegemonic approach to understanding social justice in Western liberal democracies. “Progressive neoliberalism” also resurrects the “deserving” vs. “undeserving” narrative that can lead to punitive and pathologising approaches to poor and unemployed people—the demographic comprising the majority of child [...] Read more.
“Progressive neoliberalism” is the current hegemonic approach to understanding social justice in Western liberal democracies. “Progressive neoliberalism” also resurrects the “deserving” vs. “undeserving” narrative that can lead to punitive and pathologising approaches to poor and unemployed people—the demographic comprising the majority of child and family social work service users. Indeed, research suggests that social workers’ attitudes towards families in poverty are strikingly congruent with “progressive neoliberalism.” This article suggests that generational changes and the particular form of group-based identity, postmodern social justice ideology often taught in social work education have unwittingly conspired to create this concerning picture. This article suggests that the resurrection of radical social work, with attention to economic inequality, is one way to counteract this trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Protection and Child Welfare)
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