Child Welfare Policies

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Child welfare policy started in the 18th century with a focus on providing services for disadvantaged children under religious auspices. Its main goal was to provide minimum physical subsistence to all underprivileged children. It was only a century later that legislation was made to include social and psychological help as part of child welfare policy.


This included free school lunches; medical, dental, and psychiatric services and child guidance clinics in schools; playgrounds; children's courts; special schools for handicapped children; and care in foster families for children of broken homes. Infant and child clinics were often provided by municipalities.(Packman,1968)
In the United States child welfare services are administered through the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Some of the legislations passed included the Child Nutrition Act, the Head Start Program, and the Foster Grandparent Program. The International Union for Child Welfare (1920) organized relief for child victims of major international and national disasters. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF, 1946) targets malnutrition and helps reestablish children's services destroyed in war. Current child welfare concerns include child abuse and child care.
Since then child welfare policy has undergone many changes through trial and error to help children with a sincere effort to do no harm. As a result of which there have been various models that have come into being. The most popular of them happen to be the democratic, liberal and the corporatist model.
The corporatist model is simply a privatized model. ...
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