Date of Award
Master of Social Work (MSW)
This qualitative study explores the impact of recent changes to child protection in Ontario. The impact of Child Welfare Reform on intake practice was studied via all approach influenced by Grounded Theory. Utilizing interviews of six key informants, this study revealed concern for the implications of the narrow focus on child protection. There seems little faith that these drastic measures that came with Child Welfare Reform will prevent future deaths of children having involvement with a Children's Aid Society. The findings of this study encompass six themes that emerged which support this concern. First, they include the altered context of practice where four supporting components emerged; a political presence, Child Welfare Reform as an unfinished process, a tattered welfare state and a changed institutional psyche. Secondly, the shift in practice theme included components of loss of relationships and the volume of work. Thirdly, a theme regarding social work values included components of the importance of these values and concern for turnover. Fourthly, a theme of strategic organizational playing emerged where a pushing back against bureaucratic expectations was noted. Fifthly, children in care emerged as a theme with components of concern regarding the increase of children in foster care; foster home placement and focus on adoptions. Lastly, a theme regarding service effectiveness emerged where informants could not say with certainty that the changes have resulted in children being better protected. Given that the Child Welfare Reform is built on formulae and benchmarks, this exploratory study concludes that intake practice has changed and that it is largely child protection by numbers with social work happening despite the numbers -- just not to the satisfaction of anyone involved.
Sitzer, Crystal Anne, "The Impact of Child Welfare Reform on Intake Practice: Social Work by Numbers?" (2004). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6029.
McMaster University Library