Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 February 1976

Volume 1 Issue 1

Children — Their Status in the Community and the Approach to Child Welfare . .

Rodney B. Oxenburry

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Today, we live in a child-conscious society.

We have seen the evolution of numerous child welfare programmes by the traditional agencies and are currently observing a proliferation of new and varied plans through recently developed agencies such as the Children's Commission. Supported by the possessive liberal-individualism in social thought, these policies and programmes purport to secure each child's individual material and emotional well-being so that he or she can develop into a well-reared, industrious and respectable community member. The trouble is that very few people seem to have considered the effects that such individualistic programmes have on our community as a whole. What are the overall objectives of child welfare programmes today? What are the values that determine policies? Are these policies and programmes flexible enough in the light of changing social values and cultural conditions? It is the purpose of this paper to raise questions about the objectives of child-welfare policies and to suggest that they may need to change their disposition towards highly individualistic programmes to an approach that emphasizes clearly established community perspectives.

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