This month Dee Wilson reflects on collective discouragement with child welfare, and suggests a few system-level reforms to address fundamental needs for change.
Dee Wilson explores the role of ideology in the development of child welfare policy and practice.
Dee Wilson asserts that child welfare systems exact a heavy cost on low income families and neighborhoods, costs that fall disproportionately on families living in communities with high rates of concentrated poverty and on African American and Native American families. He discusses the utility of the Community Loss Index as a tool for studying the human impact of adverse neighborhood conditions, and the power of collective efficacy programs to change community norms and reduce child maltreatment.
The recent report from the Auditor General of Pennsylvania, State of the Child: A look at the strengths and challenges of Pennsylvania’s child welfare system (2017), could have been written about most state and large county child welfare systems in
In this month’s Sounding Board, Dee Wilson suggests that child welfare systems that want to build effective organizational cultures should promote the resilience of the system and the people who work in it. He proposes several interventions, including rewarding and recognizing innovation and providing all new case workers with mentors.
Dee Wilson explores options for staff members to encourage the effective functioning of bureaucracies, in the face of ever-expanding requirements and hostility toward local initiative and innovation.
Dee Wilson examines emotional challenges faced by social workers doing the difficult – and often unappreciated – work of child welfare. He explores the range of challenges, from new social workers’ anxiety, brought on by making high-stakes decisions with little experience or emotional support, to the burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue that can lead veteran social workers to exit the profession.
Dee Wilson examines competing ideas to address the critical shortage of foster care placements. The solutions include professionalizing foster parents; better supporting foster parents and providing them with a voice in the system; increasing investment in kinship care; and creating alternatives that avoid or drastically reduce the need for foster care.
Dee Wilson examines the concept of resilience through the lens of Dr. Ann Masden’s “Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development”, and applies the concept to child welfare practice and systems.
Dee Wilson challenges and examine theories of Intergenerational Transmission of Child Neglect, making a strong pitch for focusing interventions on decreasing extreme poverty and homelessness.