SOUTH AFRICAN CHILD AND FAMILY WELFARE SERVICES: CHANGING TIMES OR BUSINESS AS USUAL?

South African welfare policies, like those of many other countries in the world, are influenced by global economic trends directing neoliberal policy implementation. The adoption of neoliberalism in South African government policies has elicited criticism (Holscher & Sewpaul, 2006; Mindry, 2008)...

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Published in: Social Work Vol. 53; no. 2; pp. 145 - 164
Main Authors: Strydom, Marianne, Spolander, Gary, Engelbrecht, Lambert, Martin, Linda
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: Stellenbosch University 07-01-2017
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Summary: South African welfare policies, like those of many other countries in the world, are influenced by global economic trends directing neoliberal policy implementation. The adoption of neoliberalism in South African government policies has elicited criticism (Holscher & Sewpaul, 2006; Mindry, 2008). Although the literature (Abramovitz, 2012; Spolander, 2014; Stark, 2008) has explored the changes and the challenges brought about by neoliberalism in social work, less detailed attention has been paid to its specific impact on child and family welfare services. The influence of neoliberal policies on child and family welfare organisations and their social workers in South Africa has also received scant attention. The purpose of this article is therefore to explore and promote debate in the profession and in civil society on the possible influence of neoliberalism in the management of child and welfare organisations, on service delivery as well as on social workers. This paper will discuss indicators of neoliberalism before exploring the implications for child and family welfare services in post-apartheid South Africa in relation to three key themes: the financing of welfare; structures and organisations; and the managing of clients. This discussion we believe is crucial toward developing an understanding of how these themes are linked, and to facilitate the critical debate necessary in civil society on child and family welfare in South Africa.
ISSN: 2312-7198
0037-8054
2312-7198
DOI: 10.15270/53-2-563