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Child Welfare

An Integrative Perspective

Cathleen A. Lewandowski

Publication Date - August 2018

ISBN: 9780190885342

320 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Organized around the theme of child well-being, this book provides an overview of child welfare's past and present with consideration of its future.


Organized around the theme of child well-being, this book provides an overview of child welfare's past and present with consideration of its future. Using case examples and discussion questions, this text engages readers in a critical examination of the challenges and strategies used to date to suggest possible directions for promoting the well-being of all children. Meanwhile, the "whole child" integrative approach to child welfare uniquely examines strategies to address children's physical, emotional, social, and psychological needs. Child welfare policy and practices are integrated throughout, thereby illustrating the context in which child welfare practice occurs and how practice and policy are connected. Current issues guiding practice with children who are especially at-risk are also explored, including children with disabilities, immigrant children, and youth who may have been trafficked. Child Welfare is a rich resource for social work students, child welfare practitioners, and administrators alike.


  • Integrates child welfare policy, practice, and research
  • Addresses child welfare prevention, intervention, and treatment
  • Serves as a relevant resource for students, practitioners, and administrators
  • Provides interdisciplinary definitions of abuse and neglect; child welfare decision-making; best practices for physical and sexual abuse prevention; and the role of race, gender, class and religion in shaping child welfare
  • Describes how political and social factors contributed to the fragmentation of services leading to the child welfare service delivery system of today
  • Includes a thorough discussion of child protection, foster care, and adoption services

About the Author(s)

Cathleen Lewandowski, PhD, MSW, is Professor and Director of the School of Social Work at Cleveland State University in Ohio. Her research interests include child welfare, substance abuse, and veterans' issues. She has practice experience in administration in children and family services, mental health, and military social work.


"Logically organized, with an integrative and holistic ap­proach to child welfare, Lewandowski introduces the historical evolution and present practices of child welfare in the United States, providing constructive suggestions for future directions of this field." -- Yemo Duan, Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

"This comprehensive, well-written text on child welfare will be a welcome addition to libraries and readers everywhere... Solid and readable, this book fills a significant void in the field. Though it is not flashy or overly engaging, this reviewer recommends it for anyone who has been searching for a single source for students to gain a thorough understanding of current child welfare policy and practice... Summing Up: Highly Recommended" -- CHOICE

"Ensuring the well-being of children who enter the child welfare system remains a complex and challenging task. Child Welfare: An Integrative Perspective provides a comprehensive and thorough review of this system's past, present, and future, with a focus on the need for a collaborative and multi-system approach to ensure positive outcomes for this vulnerable population of children. This is an essential text for those entering the child welfare workforce." -Alan J. Dettlaff, PhD, MSSW, Dean and Maconda Brown O'Connor Endowed Dean's Chair, Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston

"I found myself really interested once again in the history of the evolution of different aspects of the child welfare system. What a great lesson (and refresher) in understanding how we got to where we are today. I think this is going to make a great textbook for child welfare practitioners and others interested in understanding all of the dynamics associated with doing this work and doing it well. I know everyone who reads it will also appreciate the 'what do we do next.' Kudos to Cathleen for taking the great pains to weave it all together." -Trista Piccola, PhD, Director, Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families

Table of Contents


    Part I. Child Welfare Policy and Practice: Historical Overview
    1. Early Forms of Alternative Care
    2. Child Welfare and the Progressive Era
    3. Contemporary Forms of Alternative Care
    4. Caring for Children's Physical Needs: Income and Concrete Services
    5. Protecting Children from Abuse and Neglect
    6. Child Well-Being: An Integrative Perspective

    Part II. Protecting Children from Harm
    7. Child Abuse and Neglect: Discovery and Definition
    8. Decision-Making Processes in Child Protective Services
    9. Alternative Care: Safe Havens for Children at Risk
    10. Special Populations: Children with Unique Needs

    Part III. Child Well-Being: An Integrative Approach
    11. Child Abuse Prevention
    12. Reunifying Children with Their Families
    13. Adoption: Past and Present
    14. Children's Health and Well-Being


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