Within a historical and contemporary context, this book examines major policy practice and research issues as they jointly shape child welfare practice and its future. In addition to describing the major problems facing the field, the book highlights service innovations that have been developed in recent years. The resulting picture is encouraging, especially if certain major program reforms I are implemented and agencies are able to concentrate resources in a focused manner.The volume emphasizes families and children whose primary recourse to services has been through publicly funded child welfare agencies. The book considers historical areas of service—foster care and adoptions, in-home family-centered services, child-protective services, and residential services—where social work has an important role. Authors address the many fields of practice in which child and family services are provided or that involve substantial numbers of social work programs, such as services to adolescent parents, child mental health, education, and juvenile justice agencies.This new edition will continue to serve as a fundamental introduction for new practitioners, as well as summary of recent developments for experienced practitioners.