New Developments in Child Welfare Policy:
Comparative Trends in Europe and the U.S.

Edited by Nigel Parton, Marit Skivenes, and Neil Gilbert


This book would be based on a project organized by the editors and supported by funding from sources in Norway, England and the U.S. The project would recruit a team of senior researchers (including the editors) from ten countries: Norway, USA, England, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada. These countries are selected because they differ on important variables such as system design and ideology, and have been used in other comparative analyses, which makes it possible to identify trends -- adding historical as well as comparative strength to the work.

This volume would analyze the most recent (over the last decade) developments and innovations in the design and implementation of child abuse reporting/intervention systems in these countries. The chapters would include discussion of how different countries and systems understand and interpret the child's best interest and a child's well being, and how they balance between children's rights and parents' rights, which will illuminate cultural, ideological, judicial and professional perspectives on child welfare issues. The chapters would examine statistics such as the characteristics of children reported, rates of substantiation, who receives services, and who goes into care, providing empirical insights into the differences and similarities in child protection work in the selected countries. The research team will meet on several occasions to develop and refine a common framework for the analysis. A final meeting would be organized for the presentations and critical discussion of the chapter drafts at an invitational conference in Berkeley -- after which the authors would make the final revisions in the summer of 2009.


Nigel Parton, 1994-2006 Director of the Centre for Applied Childhood Studies, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield

Marit Skivenes, Associate Professor, University of Bergen

Neil Gilbert, Chernin Professor of Social Welfare, U.C. Berkeley