Child Welfare Policy and Practice: The Myth of Family Preservation

Document Type



The family-preservation orientation of child welfare policy and practice is questioned, and the reasons why child rescue efforts continue to grow are explored. Child placement rates are examined in historical context and compared to those of other countries. This paper argues that the child welfare system in the U.S. has long been two "systems" and that, as currently structured, it is incapable of promoting family preservation.


Social Work

Publisher Citation

Pelton, L.H. (1997). Child welfare policy and practice: The myth of family preservation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 67(4), 545-553.