Informing Child Welfare: The Promise and Limits of Empirical Research
This chapter examines the relevance and irrelevance of research on public child welfare, focusing on issues such as child removal, family preservation, and child protection. This is done against the background of the four levels of the child welfare system: its programs and services; the structure of the child welfare system itself; child welfare policies; and cognitive and emotional factors such as conceptions of justice. The fundamental discrepancy between research and practice is explored: the focus of child welfare practice on individual child and family, and the emphasis of most social science research on aggregate data.
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