Tagged: child welfare
On June 25, VTDigger featured commentary by Boston University School of Social Work Professor and Department of Social Welfare Policy Chair Mary Elizabeth Collins, Ph. D. In the article, Collins discusses the need for a sustained commitment to children.
“Protecting children and supporting families challenges each of our states’ child welfare systems,” Collins says. “The challenge is also shared internationally with those countries that have developed professional social service systems.”
While modest solutions are available, Collins calls for a reorientation to the work of child protection — “one that aims for a commitment to anti-poverty interventions, opportunities for families to gain an economic foothold, and mending of the social safety net.”
“A more fundamental reorientation to the work might include the adoption of a children’s rights framework to guide our policy response,” Collins says, as nearly all countries of the world are adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. “Children and youth would have an entitlement to the needed services and supports to obtain safety, permanency and well-being – the three outcomes that are currently the focus of U.S. child welfare policy.”
“The moral commitment needs to be shared amongst the people of each community, state and the nation as a whole,” Collins says about the responsibility of child protection. “There is much in the larger context that must be shared by political leaders, universities, public and private agencies, faith communities, business and the citizenry in order to move toward effective and sustained change.”
Collins’ full commentary is featured on the VTDigger website.
Although social work is an established profession in different parts of the world, there are still communities that are undergoing dynamic economic and social change. In many countries, including Vietnam, the process of establishing the profession of social work is a recent development that is still unfolding. Those trying to build a foundation for the field in Vietnam face hurdles, such as societal barriers and the lack of a trained workforce.
In an effort to remove those barriers and build a trained workforce, Boston University School of Social Work Professor Mary Collins was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities during the 2011-2012 academic year. Professor Collins’ main substantive focus will be on child protection.
Collins is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2011-2012. This prestigious award gives her the opportunity to participate in an exchange of ideas with those involved in social work and social work education in Vietnam.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.