Higher Education

Child Welfare: Policies and Best Practices, 2nd Edition

  • Jannah Mather University of Utah
  • Patricia B. Lager Florida State University
  • Norma J. Harris University of Utah
  • ISBN-10: 0495004847  |  ISBN-13: 9780495004844
  • 352 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2000
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $120.75



This groundbreaking book discusses both child welfare policy and child welfare practice and provides a fully integrated balance between the two. By using what research has proven to be the best-practice methods, this approach enables readers not only to understand policies and laws, but also learn how to be an effective practitioner and advocate when working in a myriad of situations. As they focus on an approach with a multi-systemic view, readers learn how to prevent crisis situations such as child abuse and neglect and family separation, rather than simply react to these issues.

Features and Benefits

  • Practical, hands-on practice interventions equip readers with both knowledge about policies and strategies that they can use to be more effective in the field.
  • Vignettes and case studies illustrate particular techniques and engage students at the beginning of chapters.
  • Chapter-ending summaries and discussion questions reinforce content and engage students' thinking.

Table of Contents

1. Child Welfare History.
2. Best Practices in Child Welfare.
3. Child Welfare Services: Formal and Informal.
4. Policy and Research in Child Welfare.
5. Cultural Competency in Child Welfare.
6. Neglect.
7. Abuse and Emotional Maltreatment.
8. Child Sexual Abuse.
9. Behavioral and Delinquency Issues.
10. Children with Special Challenges and Teenage Pregnancy.
11. Permanency Planning and Adoption.
12. Alternatives: Prevention and Early Intervention.
13. Leadership and Change.

What's New

  • New co-author Norma Harris, the primary author of national guidelines in child protective services, brings additional information and insights to the policies that effect child welfare practice.
  • Chapter 2 is now titled "Child Welfare Services: Formal and Informal" and presents the most recent research findings and innovations such as family support, family preservation, family group conferencing, wrap-around, interagency collaboration, self-help groups, and mentoring programs.
  • New Chapter 4, "Policy and Research in Child Welfare," presents the most current policies and research findings, including the federal policy Child and Family Services Reviews, which was used to evaluate the effectiveness of child welfare services throughout the states.
  • By focusing on the strengths-based perspective throughout, students are taught how to tailor interventions for specific cases using already-existing resources within the family system.
  • New Chapter 5 on cultural competence provides students with information on working with diverse groups such as Latinos, Asian, Native-American and Euro American families.
  • New Chapter 12 focuses on prevention to resolve the issue of child maltreatment.
  • Permanency planning and adoption are addressed in a new Chapter 11, providing students with the insight and skills needed in these situations.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Jannah Mather

Jannah Mather is Dean of the University of Utah College of Social Work and the co-author of UNDERSTANDING GENERALIST PRACTICE WITH FAMILIES. She has over 20 years of experience in private practice, in-patient therapy, and family services. Her writings include works on case management, family therapy, child welfare, family and children services, social work education, and accreditation.

Patricia B. Lager

Patricia Lager is the Faculty Administrator and Director of International Programs at Florida State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Florida). Her areas of interest include child welfare, treatment of children and families, clinical supervision, ethical and liability issues, field instruction, and international social work.

Norma J. Harris

Norma Harris joins the team as the new co-author. She teaches at the University of Utah and is the Director of the Social Research Institute, Title IV-E Coordinator and Chair of the Public Service Domain. She has a Bachelor of Science from Montana State University, MSW from the University of Utah and a PhD from Florida International University. Recognized as a leader in all aspects of child welfare services, Dr. Harris is the primary author of national guidelines in child protective services. She is active in child welfare policies and practice at the local state and national levels.