Protecting Aboriginal Children

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Beginning in the 1960s, large numbers of Aboriginal children in Canada were removed from their families by provincial child welfare services. Known as the "Sixties Scoop," the practice resulted in the destruction of individuals and the devastation of communities. Today, Aboriginal children comprise roughly half of the children in state care in Canada, but since the 1980s, bands and tribal councils have developed unique community-based child welfare services to better protect Aboriginal children.

Protecting Aboriginal Children explores contemporary approaches to the well-being of Aboriginal children through interviews with practising social workers employed at Aboriginal child welfare organizations and the state child protection service in British Columbia. It places current practice in a socio-historical context, describes emerging practice in decolonizing communities, and identifies the effects of political and media controversy on social workers. While the dangerous, stressful, and political aspects of the work are not minimized, the creative and original practice developing outside the spotlight of media and government scrutiny are highlighted. This engaging book is the first to document emerging practice in Aboriginal communities and to describe child protection practice simultaneously from the point of view of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal social workers.

Those working in child welfare or contemplating a career in child protection will find the book an insightful analysis of current practice thinking and experience. Aboriginal peoples with an interest in health and human services, as well as social work students, child welfare workers and administrators, and health, education, and human service professionals will find it particularly useful.

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About the author (2005)

Christopher Walmsley teaches in the School of Social Work and Human Service at Thompson Rivers University.

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