This course will look at the major historical, ideological, legal, and professional themes that inform child welfare policy. Issues including current legislation, history of child welfare, foster care, and adoption will be examined. In particular, we will focus on the social construction of mothering, of child neglect and of child abuse. Contemporary policies and programs for populations disproportionately engaged with child welfare services including Aboriginal children, immigrant and refugee children, and children of single parents will be examined. Students will be expected to engage in a process of integrating factors of gender, class, disability, race, culture and sexual orientation into their critical analysis of the ideological nature of Child Welfare.
This course does not teach you specifically how to become a worker in child protection, although we will discuss child protection, frameworks and issues of child protection work. Rather, it is intended to give you a perspective on the breadth and scope of Child Welfare work, and the issues that face workers in terms of policy, practice, ideology, and ethical issues. The course will be of interest to any students who will be working with children and families.