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Casework in the return of non-ward care cases to the parental home : a descriptive and analytical study of Social Welfare Branch (British Columbia) cases, 1953-1956 Morales, Dolores Averna

Abstract

"Non-ward Care” refers to a child for whom the Superintendent of Child Welfare has assumed responsibility temporarily at the request of the child’s parent or guardian. The primary function of non-ward care is the protection of children within their own family unit, the importance to the child of having his own parents accept responsibility for him being recognized as a principle basic to child welfare services. Non-ward care, as described in this thesis, is an important service for treating certain family situations in the hope that this treatment will make it possible for children and parents to help themselves. In the final analysis, the real assessment of the use of the resource of non-ward care depends on the preservation of the family unit. This study was undertaken in an attempt to examine descriptively and analytically the casework services involved in the provision of the resource of non-ward care to families, and to note how the families were being benefited by the resource. The analysis of the fifteen cases used in this study suggests some correlation between the evidence of improvement in the family situation and the quality of the social work methods and techniques exhibited by the worker during the course of the agency's contact with the family. This is judged by the rating of the progress made by the families as related to the quality of the worker's relationship, and also the extent to which basic social work methods and techniques were used by the worker. In both instances, the cases which showed much improvement in the family situation, showed proficient use of the basic social work methods and techniques. The cases which made little progress showed weaknesses in some areas of social work methods, particularly the areas which require diagnostic skill, evaluation, and the making of a plan based on the diagnosis. The findings of the study are that, in the majority of instances, the resource of non-ward care was being used towards the preservation of the families; and that, from the beginning the plan was for the children to be returned to their parents’ homes when the situation had been alleviated. There were a few cases, however, in which the original plan for the family seemed to have been lost sight of and children had remained in care longer than had been envisaged, while no improvement had occurred in the family situation. The implications here are significant not only for this type of service, but for all fields of the social work profession.

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