New Developments in Child Welfare Policy:
Comparative Trends in Europe and the U.S.
Edited by Nigel Parton, Marit Skivenes, and Neil Gilbert
This book would be based on a project organized by the editors and supported by funding
from sources in Norway, England and the U.S. The project would recruit a team of senior
researchers (including the editors) from ten countries: Norway, USA, England, Finland, Sweden,
Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada. These countries are selected because they
differ on important variables such as system design and ideology, and have been used in other
comparative analyses, which makes it possible to identify trends -- adding historical as well
as comparative strength to the work.
This volume would analyze the most recent (over the last decade) developments and
innovations in the design and implementation of child abuse reporting/intervention systems
in these countries. The chapters would include discussion of how different countries and
systems understand and interpret the child's best interest and a child's well being, and
how they balance between children's rights and parents' rights, which will illuminate
cultural, ideological, judicial and professional perspectives on child welfare issues.
The chapters would examine statistics such as the characteristics of children reported,
rates of substantiation, who receives services, and who goes into care, providing
empirical insights into the differences and similarities in child protection work
in the selected countries. The research team will meet on several occasions to
develop and refine a common framework for the analysis. A final meeting would be
organized for the presentations and critical discussion of the chapter drafts at
an invitational conference in Berkeley -- after which the authors would make the
final revisions in the summer of 2009.