Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation
Social workers today not only face competing claims concerning
the rights and needs of children and youth, but they also confront
contradictions between policy and practice. Social workers are
expected to fight for the best interests of the child, even though
financial support for children's welfare and education grows
scarce. They are asked to save "children at risk," while, at the
same time, they are urged to protect communities from "risky
children"; and they are encouraged to "leave no child behind,"
while also implementing "zero tolerance" policies to keep
educational environments free from troubled youth.
A cutting-edge text that deals directly with the confusion and
complexity of modern child welfare, Childhood, Youth, and
Social Work in Transformation features contributions from a
truly interdisciplinary group of practitioners, scholars, and
activists. Examining the theoretical, political, and practical
aspects of working with youth today, this volume breaks free from
existing modes of thought and strategies of practice and prompts
readers to critically reflect on accepted approaches and new
possibilities of action.
Contributors analyze how economic, political, and cultural
changes over the last several decades have reshaped the experiences
and representations of children and youth in the United States.
They examine conceptions of troubled children and youth in
contemporary policies and programs and assess why certain
discourses about troubling youth are so compelling to
professionals, policymakers, and the public. In conclusion, these
skilled professionals explore the reinvention of social work policy
and practice, including the need to forge relationships that
respect the experiences, rights, and personhood of children and
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