Out of Harm's Way: Creating an Effective Child Welfare System by Richard GellesOut of Harm's Way: Creating an Effective Child Welfare System by Richard Gelles

Out of Harm's Way: Creating an Effective Child Welfare System

byRichard Gelles

Hardcover | February 14, 2017

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Despite many well-intentioned efforts to create, revise, reform, and establish an effective child welfare system in the United States, the system continues to fail to ensure the safety and well-being of maltreated children. Out of Harm's Way explores the following four critical aspects of thesystem and presents a specific change in each that would lead to lasting improvements.- Deciding who is the client. Child welfare systems attempt to balance the needs of the child and those of the parents, often failing both. Clearly answering this question is the most important, yet unaddressed, issue facing the child welfare system.- Decisions. The key task for a caseworker is not to provide services but to make decisions regarding child abuse and neglect, case goals, and placement; however, practitioners have only the crudest tools at their disposal when making what are literally life and death decisions.- The Perverse Incentive. Billions of dollars are spent each year to place and maintain children in out-of-home care. Foster care is meant to be short-term, yet the existing federal funding serves as a perverse incentive to keep children in out-of-home placements.- Aging out. More than 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year, and yet what the system calls "emancipation" could more accurately be viewed as child neglect. After having spent months, years, or longer moving from placement to placement, aging-out youth are suddenly thrust intohomelessness, unemployment, welfare, and oppressive disadvantage.The chapters in this book offer a blueprint for reform that eschews the tired cycle of a tragedy followed by outrage and calls for more money, staff, training, and lawsuits that provide, at best, fleeting relief as a new complacency slowly sets in until the cycle repeats. If we want, instead, to trysomething else, the changes that Gelles outlines in this book are affordable, scalable, and proven.
Richard J. Gelles, PhD, is former Dean (2001-2014) and Joanne T. and Raymond H. Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. He is Co-Faculty Director of the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice, and Research and Founding Director of the Evelyn Jacobs...
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Title:Out of Harm's Way: Creating an Effective Child Welfare SystemFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:February 14, 2017Publisher:OUPLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190618019

ISBN - 13:9780190618018

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Editorial Reviews

"Finally, a hard-nosed, no-ideological-agenda dissection of our child protection system, by an expert with deep knowledge and sophisticated understanding of the politics and laws that shape the system. Richard Gelles reveals the weak links in the chain of responsibility for children's welfarethat breaks apart far too often, and he advances new, effective, and politically realistic solutions. With this book, a new conversation begins." --James G. Dwyer, PhD, JD, Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law, William and Mary School of Law