Public Child Welfare: A Casebook for Learning and Teaching provides social work students and practicing social workers with 20 real-world cases gathered from four California county child welfare agencies. Readers are exposed to the stories of social workers and families involved in child welfare services. The rich and varied content captures the daily complexities, challenges, and successes that social workers experience in the field.
Framed within the context of relevant national and state policy and practices, the cases address a variety of child welfare issues including neglect and abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, criminal justice involvement, mental health, reunification and adoption, and more. Case-based learning relates to family dynamics, initial risks and harms, finding the right home for the child, court proceedings, and the trajectory of these complex cases over time.
Public Child Welfare challenges social work students and practitioners to critically examine documented, real-world cases to inform and strengthen their own practices. The casebook is an ideal resource for social work courses, child welfare seminars, and agency-based training programs.
“Extensive research documents that classroom education alone is insufficient to support transfer of core social work knowledge and skills in the real world. Case-based learning is one vehicle to support the transfer of learning to real life situations. This casebook provides 20 case studies based on real children and families as a context for bridging the gap between theory and social work practice. Each chapter also introduces a list of classroom discussion questions about these agency-based, real-life case records, to encourage critical thinking about each of these child and family situations. This casebook would be a valuable companion to other child welfare policy, program, and/or practice related texts.”
Diane DePanfilis, Ph.D., M.S.W., Professor
Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
City University of New York