An extensively revised version of the first edition, this text focuses on the practical foundational knowledge required to practice social work effectively in the complex and fast-changing world of services to children and their families. The core organizing framework consists of eightpragmatic perspectives: combating adultcentrism, family-centered practice, the strengths perspective, respect for diversity and difference, the least restrictive alternative, ecological perspective, organization and financing, and achieving outcomes. Unlike most texts that focus either on directpractice or on policy, Petr's revised volume integrates current policy-including recent reform efforts-with "best practices." The student thus gains a deep appreciation for how direct social work practice is linked to, and even guided by, contemporary policy initiatives and the values thatunderscore those initiatives. Two new chapters are devoted specifically to the fields of child welfare and children's mental health, providing an overview of the laws, policies, practices, and terminology pertaining to each setting. The next eight chapters focus on each pragmatic perspective and its relevance to child welfare and children's mental health. The in-depth case studies that comprise the concluding two chapters illustrate how typical client situations can be successfully addressed within the context of the pragmatic perspectives. Packed with case studies, specific practice instruction, chapter summaries, and suggested learning activities,this book prepares students and practitioners to think and act professionally in ways that are consistent with current laws, values, policies, and reform efforts in the field.