T his book addresses the major issue of social care and child welfare in the twenty-first century, and in particular the imperative to integrate residential child care, leaving care and aftercare in order to achieve a congruent system of care. Currently these areas are disconnected elements, whereas in an integrated system they would be fully connected. The book is focused on the situation in Ireland but offers international relevance.
An ecological perspective, with recognition of the importance of both the child and the worker as dyadic elements within this system, is the focus throughout. The child’s perspective is presented through a biographical narrative of a former child in care and with case studies from the author’s practice experience. The workers’ perspective is addressed through detailed critical analysis of the elements which constitute the profession of social care, which include practice, theory, approaches to care, policy, rights, research, legislation, social justice, professionalisation, privatisation and the socio-political and socio-economic factors which impact on the profession of social care, and therefore children in care.
Through this analysis a nuanced and informed perspective, identifying both strengths and weaknesses, is offered on the care system in Ireland in 2015. The book identifies significant deficiencies in the current aftercare services available in Ireland, and advocates for a statutory entitlement to aftercare support for all care leavers. A benefit/cost analysis is provided to support such a change.
“This book is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in the Irish care system. From academics to policy makers, to social workers and care leavers, we all have a responsibility to understand the many aspects of the care system.”– Wayne Dignam, Chairman, Irish Care Leavers Network
“Engrossing, informative and challenging. … essential reading for all those with an interest in children in care.” – Fr Peter McVerry, SJ, Founder, Peter McVerry Trust
“Social carers and social workers are ever more subject to supposed certainties couched in jargon – ‘outcomes’, ‘key performance indicators’, ‘sophisticated risk assessments’, ‘regulation’, ‘compliance’. These, and other gems of bureaucracy, are not absent from Maurice Fenton’s book. However, he has managed to challenge their efficacy and intent by imbuing his findings with a personal narrative that leads to a core concept: many young people in care and aftercare, as well as those tasked to care for them, live ‘on the edge’. Success and often survival for both groups is dependent on another core concept: the essence of caring is not about commodification but about relationships.” – Noel Howard, Secretary, Social Care Ireland
About the Author
Maurice Fenton has worked at all levels in residential care, trainee to director, within the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. He founded Empower Ireland in 2009 to support care leavers in Ireland, and is an independent advisor and researcher with a particular interest in mentoring and social justice.
- Additional Information
Author Fenton, Maurice Editor No Print Format Paperback ISBN-10 No ISBN-13 9781908308740 Illustrations None Date of Publication October 7, 2015 Number of Pages 414