Book addressing Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practices includes work of School of Social Work Faculty

A new book, edited by School of Social Work Professor Helen Calahane and featuring the work University of Pittsburgh faculty members, tackles the tough new issues that child welfare workers face in today’s environment.

Book Cover for Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare PracticeContemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practice presents a clear picture of practice in today's child protection landscape: its challenges and opportunities, and the insights every professional needs. Demands for evidence-driven practice coupled with budget cuts, funding limits, and the call for client-driven services are contributing to a transformation in the field. Not surprisingly, with this reform comes the need for a higher level of professional education on the part of its practitioners.

Chapters map out an integrated systems of care framework that coordinates services across mental health and other agencies while encouraging collaboration with families and the community. Topics span theoretical and hands-on practice imperatives from racial and cultural issues, to managing for outcomes, to concepts of permanency. And the book's case studies offer salient first-person perspectives from children, families, and caseworkers.

The book covers the issues of family engagement strategies in child welfare practice; promoting youth engagement, empowerment, and interdependence through teaming practices; LGBTQ youth: the challenge for child welfare; training and transfer of learning; reflective practices in supervision: why thinking and reflecting are as important as doing; stress and child welfare work; and organizational effectiveness strategies for child welfare.

Contributors from the University of Pittsburgh include School of Social Work Professors Cynthia Bradley-King, Caroline Donohue, Rachel A. Fusco, Marlo E. Perry, Mary Elizabeth Rauktis, and  Elizabeth A. Winter;  doctoral student Chereese M. Phillips; doctoral graduate Tammy L. Thomas; and Professor of Psychiatry Carol M. Anderson.  Other contributors to the book include child welfare professionals from Yale, the University of Louisville, the American Public Human Services Association, and the Allegheny County Department of Health Services.

Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practice (ISBN 978-1-4614-8626-8) is available at Amazon and at