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Child Welfare Services in Canada

  • Nico Trocmé
  • Tonino Esposito
  • Jennifer Nutton
  • Valerie Rosser
  • Barbara Fallon
Chapter
Part of the Child Maltreatment book series (MALT, volume 8)

Abstract

In Canada, the responsibility for protecting and supporting children at risk of abuse and neglect falls under the jurisdiction of Provinces and Territories and Indigenous child welfare organizations. These services have been shaped by their roots in late nineteenth century child saving movements and colonial assimilationism of Indigenous communities. Modernization of child welfare statutes and programs have shifted the language to concepts of child maltreatment and an emphasis on less intrusive family- centered approaches. Despite these changes, child welfare mandates have been expanding: over 230,000 child maltreatment investigations are conducted every year, and on any 1 day, over 62,000 children are in out-of-home care. While there is significant variation in the structure and organization of services and in the statutes defining intervention mandates, these systems nevertheless share many common characteristics, including mandatory reporting; maltreatment investigations as a primary framework for determining service eligibility; use of court orders to enforce services; and the placement of children and youth in a range of out-of-home care settings. Efforts are being made to develop a broader array of more flexible service alternatives to meet the diverse needs of child welfare-engaged families, a shift most notably needed for Indigenous children and families.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nico Trocmé
    • 1
  • Tonino Esposito
    • 2
  • Jennifer Nutton
    • 1
  • Valerie Rosser
    • 1
  • Barbara Fallon
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Social WorkMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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