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New books on Child Welfare

Protecting the welfare of a child may be one of the most critical social services in the community today. The effectiveness of our child welfare systems is the subject of many books and articles. Two new books have just arrived in the Dewey Library on the topic, about two aspects of the child welfare system. Here is an overview of each book:
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Child Welfare Supervision: A Practical Guide for Supervisors, Managers and Administrators. Cathryn C. Potter and Charmaine R. Brittain, Eds. New York: Oxford UP. (2009). DEWEY HV 713 S89 2009
This book seeks to integrate research and managerial theory into supervisory practice in a child welfare setting. Each chapter is an essay written by a different author. They cover topics such as leadership, middle management, changing environments, diversity, staff retention, professional development and clinical supervision. This book successfully takes management theories about topics like decision making, supervisory leadership, or strengthening relationships and applies these theories along with current research to the day to day tasks faced by a child welfare supervisor. This book provides a useful mix of scholarly knowledge and practical application that will be useful to anyone looking to become a supervisor in a child welfare agency.

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At Risk: Social Justice in Child Welfare and Other Human Services. Karen J. Swift and Marilyn Callahan. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (2009). DEWEY HV 715 S95X 2009
The study of risk assessment is an increasingly important facet of social welfare research. This book studies the theories and various aspects of risk assessment in general: what it is, how it is used, its impacts and effects, and applies them the authors’ original research on risk assessment practices in a child welfare setting. Social policies are analyzed with relation to human rights and child welfare reform, among other topics. Various aspects on the efficacy of risk assessment and risk reduction are also covered. The true outcomes of many risk assessment practices do not accomplish the original goals. Human services professionals are advised to cast a critical eye on risk assessment instruments and their true impact on the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society.