Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Voluntourism" and Child Welfare

A new report from Better Care Network reviews and shares existing knowledge on
international "voluntourism" as related to the alternative care of children (e.g., orphanages) in developing countries. This is a very interesting "hot" topic, especially for those of you who have worked or are interested in working with children in global contexts. In fact, the Better Care Network website has some really great resources on this topic. (I find this advertisement slightly amusing, as it initially implies one could "win a youth".)

Ontario Child Welfare Resources

The Child Welfare League of Canada has some great information about vulnerable children in Canada. They don't accept individual memberships, but you can sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on child welfare activities.

OACAS recently announced the official launch of the Ontario Child Welfare Research Framework website. The website provides a brief overview of the legal and theoretical contexts for child welfare research in Ontario, as well as key research principles, datasets, methodologies, and ethical guidelines.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Really Happened to Baby Johan?

Image result for what really happened to baby johan

One of the most read articles this month is What really happened to baby Johan?, written by Elizabeth Weil in Matter.

It's the story of a father who dropped his three-month-old son, which became a criminal case. The article highlights the complexities and controversies of child welfare.

Neglect Versus "Free-Range" Parenting

NPR has a report on the debate between neglect and "free-range" parenting in the US. Note the chart with the varying ages that a child can be left alone depending on the state: from 6 in Kansas to 12 in Colorado.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Connection Between Large-Scale Violence and Family Violence

Here's an excellent op-ed in The New York Times drawing connections between violence in the home and large-scale violence. As one commenter states, in order to curb violence in society, we have to start with our young children.

Child Sexual Abuse Images Online

Child sexual abuse images online (CSAIO) is a new area of child welfare that social workers should be more involved in developing. Here are two resources for addressing CSAIO:
  • Cybertip is a tipline where you can report online sexual exploitation of children. It's also a good source of information on this topic.
  • There is also a Virtual Global Taskforce that addresses online child abuse and other forms of transnational child sexual exploitation.

The Teenage Brain

Frances Jensen is a neurobiologist who has just published really interesting research on the development of teenagers brains. She found that the brains are developed but not fully insulated in the teenage years, and the last place to be insulated is the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making. That's why teenagers are generally more impulsive and make bad decisions. They are also more susceptible to addiction and the effects of drugs and alcohol. This article and interview on NPR's Fresh Air does a better job of explaining it all. What do you think about this research? Can you see the links to child welfare?


Manitoba to Spend More Money on Child Welfare

The province of Manitoba says it will spend more money to keep children who are wards of the province within their communities. There is an excellent interview on CBC's As It Happens (click on Part 2 to listen). I would be interested to know if you think this is a good use of money for child welfare in the province.