Skip to main content

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia

People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia traces the evolution of policies and programs intended to protect children in BC from neglect and abuse. Analyzing this evolution reveals that child protection policy and practice has reflected the priorities of politicians and public servants in power. With few exceptions, efforts to establish effective programs have focused on structural arrangements, staffing responsibilities, and rules to regulate the practice of child welfare workers.

Contributors to this book conclude that these attempts have been unsuccessful thus far because they have failed to address the impact of poverty on clients. The need to respect the cultural traditions and values of First Nations clients has also been ignored. Effective services require recognizing and remedying poverty’s impact, establishing community control over services, and developing a radically different approach to the day-to-day practice of child welfare workers.

People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia provides a crucial assessment of the state of child welfare in the province. Practitioners, scholars, and students in social work, child and youth care, education, and other human-service professions will find this book particularly important.

304 pages

Table of Contents

Foreword / Deryck Thomson

Introduction: People, Politics, and Child Welfare / Brian Wharf

1 Rethinking Child Welfare Reform in British Columbia, 1900-60 / Marilyn Callahan and Christopher Walmsley

2 Trends in Child Welfare: What Do the Data Show? / Leslie T. Foster

3 The Community Resource Board Experience / Brian Wharf

4 Child Welfare in the 1980s: A Time of Turbulence and Change / Sandra Scarth and Richard Sullivan

5 Witnessing Wild Woman: Resistance and Resilience in Aboriginal Child Welfare / Maggie Kovachs, Robina Thomas, Monty Montgomery, Jacquie Green, and Leslie Brown

6 The Community Advocate Minister: Attempting Major Changes / Riley Hern and John Cossom

7 Thomas Gove: A Commission of Inquiry Puts Children First and Proposes Community Governance and Integration of Services / Andrew Armitage and Elaine Murray

8 Great Expectations and Unintended Consequences: Risk Assessment in Child Welfare in British Columbia / Marilyn Callahan and Karen Swift

9 Back to the Future: Toward Community Governance / Leslie T. Foster

10 Views from Other Provinces / Brad McKenzie, Sally Palmer, and Wanda Thomas Barnard

11 The Case for a Comprehensive Vision for Child Welfare / Brian Wharf

12 From Child Protection to Safeguarding: The English Context / Tony Morrison

13 Final Thoughts / Brian Wharf

Appendix 1: Key Events in British Columbia Child Welfare, 1863 to May 2006

Appendix 2: Key Government Decision Makers in British Columbia Child Welfare, 1947 to May 2006

Appendix 3: Delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agencies’ Status, May 2006

List of Contributors


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press