The Field Guide to Child Welfare was written
to support the education and training of child welfare professionals
throughout their careers. As a text for college-level child welfare
courses and field placement, it provides students with a thorough
understanding of the practice of child welfare, integrated with
substantial content on basic tenets of child and family development,
comprehensive assessment and case planning, cultural competence,
and interpersonal helping skills. The Field Guide was also designed
to support and enhance inservice training for child welfare caseworkers
The primary strength of the Field Guide
is its ability to fully integrate theory and practice. Its goal
was to promote the development of a "thinking practitioner"
who could rely on a sound values base, well-tested conceptual
models, and a thorough knowledge of human development and behavior
to inform decision making and problem solving in the diverse family
situations typically encountered in child welfare practice.
The Field Guide provides in-depth coverage
of the Core Competencies required for effective child welfare
practice, and many competencies in specialized and related skills
areas. Each of the 11 chapters and its sub-sections incorporate
three distinct parts:
1. The Conceptual Framework
section presents pertinent facts, theories, and conceptual models
that underlie "best practice" in child welfare, and
promotes the development of critical thinking through extensive
discussion, by identifying inherent congruence and contradictions
in the content, and by challenging readers to consider concepts
in light of their preexisting knowledge and beliefs;
In a review of the Field Guide in Child
Maltreatment, Journal of the American Professional Society on the
Abuse of Children (APSAC), reviewer Kenneth W. Watson stated:
2. The Application section illustrates how the
"best practice" standards and principles outlined in
the Conceptual Framework should be implemented in the job setting.
This is accomplished through the use of detailed, sequential,
step-by-step descriptions of job tasks and activities, interspersed
with detailed practical information.
3. Case Examples are used to demonstrate "best
practice" skills in the context of direct work with families
and children. All the cases describe real families from the authors'
own child welfare practice experiences.
The Field Guide received the "Quality in Training Award"
from the National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA),
of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) in December,
"This book is a remarkable achievement. Rycus and Hughes have
attempted to provide all the essential information that child welfare
practitioners need in one comprehensive, accessible source, and
they have succeeded."
order the text version of the Field Guide to Child Welfare, contact the Child
Welfare League of America's publications department (1-800-407-6273)
or Visit their publications website