Child- and Family-Centered Practices in a Post-Bureaucratic Era: Inherent Conflicts Encountered by the New Child Welfare Professional

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Abstract

Various child welfare organizations are changing services by adopting child- and family-centered approaches and moving away from redundant bureaucracy, top-down strategies, and fragmented networks. This shift inevitably poses challenges. This article uses the case of intensive family case management in the Netherlands to explore conflicts perceived by professionals and associated coping strategies. Findings are that internal conflicts (leading to a relapse into old routines or to misinterpretation of purpose) and boundary conflicts (leading to a relapse into old collaboration agreements) cause challenges. Pioneering organizations need to provide support for learning and reflection between professionals, seeking alignment between accountability and learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-435
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public Child Welfare
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • child-centered care; family-centered care; post-bureaucratic era; child welfare professionals; professional roles; praxis; child protection

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