The Child Welfare Cartel

Source: David Stoesz, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
The probity of the Children’s Bureau’s National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) is examined with respect to the status of child welfare as well as the performance of social work education. By requiring that funding go only to accredited schools of social work, which is not authorized by relevant provisions of the Social Security Act, NCWWI effectively establishes a cartel that excludes other disciplines. Alternatives to improve child welfare services and staff training are considered.

Related:
Response to the Target Article
Investing in the Child Welfare Workforce: A Response to David Stoesz
Source: Katharine Briar-Lawson, Robin Leake, Nancy Dickinson, Mary McCarthy, Gary Anderson, Victor Groza, and Grover C. Gilmore, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
Responding to David Stoesz’s invited article criticizing the Children’s Bureau and the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI), the author’s inaccurate assertions are challenged, and new information is provided about the significant work underway to support the child welfare workforce. The Children’s Bureau has made historic investments in workforce capacity building, which bring multiple universities, public, and tribal child welfare systems into a partnership designed to support a multilevel approach to workforce development. Information that counters the author’s spurious claims is provided with regard to the structure of NCWWI and the evaluation protocol being implemented.

A Walking Contradiction, Partly Truth and Partly Fiction: A Critique of Stoesz’ The Child Welfare Cartel
Source: Alberta J. Ellett, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
This article is a critique of David Stoesz’ descriptions of organizational issues in child welfare, and more specifically, the relationships between the U.S. Children’s Bureau and the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. The focus is on Stoesz perspectives and assessments of sub-entities (cartels) that are currently influencing funding and programmatic efforts to prepare child welfare employees. The critiq ue also includes Stoesz’ perspectives of current child welfare training efforts and issues related to child welfare as a profession. The review ends with a set of summary conclusions about the merit of the Stoesz article.

Strict Slaves of Slogans: Response to “The Social Work Cartel”
Source: William M. Epstein, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
The corruption of the social work enterprise is not simply episodic but systemic and long-standing including education, research, governance, and practice. Reform is unlikely since the constituency within the field and outside of it that wishes to change the situation is small and ineffective. The corruption of social work reflects the unfortunate social values of the nation that refuses to allocate sufficient resources to address deep social problems, notably economic and social inequality. Social work should severely cut back: eliminate bachelor of social work programs and reduce master’s education to no more than 20 programs that also offer doctorates but only jointly with social science departments. There are too many social workers and not enough good ones.

Let’s Stop Playing Monopoly With the Child Welfare Workforce
Source: Robin Ernest Perry, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
Although the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) is a specific focus of Stoesz’s article, a more expansive and thought-provoking critique is made of the NCWWI within the context of a purported overreliance and dependency on the Children’s Bureau, concerns regarding the quality of social work education, and the development of a “professional cartel in child welfare …” in the social work profession. Stoesz’s assertions are examined and some of his observations are reinforced within a broader exploration and discussion of how the events he describes (which are paralleled by events in Florida) may be a by-product of sociological influences shaping social work’s efforts to receive social sanction as a profession. It is argued that the profession need not attempt to monopolize or engage in behaviors meant to gain legislative or social sanction at the expense of advancing knowledge and better informing practice trends and policy actions. Toward this end, professional cartels should be confronted and multi- and interdisciplinary professional practice can and should take place within child welfare systems.

Inconvenient Truths: A Response to the Article by David Stoesz, “The Child Welfare Cartel”
Source: James J. Clark and Bonnie L. Yegidis, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
David Stoesz offers a sweeping critique of the Children’s Bureau and social work education by claiming the existence of a “child welfare cartel.” He also attacks the quality of social work education and research, which he claims has poorly invested government funding and helped create the unmitigated failures of the American child welfare system. However, closer examination reveals that many of his claims, while dramatic, are actually ill conceived and unsupportable. We attempt to clarify and inform readers about some significant aspects of the field of child welfare and the contemporary responses being made by the federal government in partnership with social work educators and researchers.

Child Welfare Research and Training: A Response to David Stoesz
Source: Brenda D. Smith and Vikki L. Vandiver, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
In this response to David Stoesz’ critique, “The Child Welfare Cartel,” the authors agree that child welfare research and training must be improved. The authors disagree, however, with Stoesz’ critique of social work education, his assessment of the most-needed forms of child welfare research, and his depiction of the goals and activities of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI). Rather than contributing to child welfare challenges and problems, the authors argue that the NCWWI is leading efforts to address the challenges.

Reply by David Stoesz
The Child Welfare Cartel, Redux
Source: David Stoesz, Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 26 no. 5, September 2016
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From the abstract:
In response to “The Child Welfare Cartel,” defenders of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) make three errors: First, restricting federal funds to schools of social work is not authorized by the statute cited in the creation of NCWWI. Second, social work is not the only discipline engaged in child welfare, denying the emergence of Child Advocacy Studies as a competitor. Third, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are not implausible in child welfare due to the complex issues presented by maltreated children and troubled families. This incorrect contention ignores the numerous field experiments deployed in psychology and nursing to the considerable benefit of those disciplines. Apologists for NCWWI thus make assertions typical of a cartel, resulting in outcomes that are unnecessarily substandard and expensive. If social workers are superior to nonprofessionals in child welfare, defenders of NCWWI should conduct an RCT putting that claim to test.