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 youth.
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(162mm x 236mm x 36mm)
Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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Author Biography - Professor Lynn M. Nybell
Lynn M. Nybell is professor of social work at Eastern Michigan University. She holds a Ph.D. in social work and anthropology from the University of Michigan, and her research interests include examining constructions of childhood in contemporary social work policy and practice. Jeffrey J. Shook is an assistant professor of social work and law at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Ph.D. in social work and sociology from the University of Michigan and a JD from American University, Washington College of Law. His research interests involve the intersections of law, policy, and practice in the lives of children and youth. Janet L. Finn is professor of social work and MSW program director at The University of Montana. She holds a Ph.D. in social work and anthropology from the University of Michigan, and her research interests are in the areas of community practice, youth, gender, globalization, and critical social work theory.