This newly revised and updated edition of a widely adopted text continues to address a broad array of issues in supporting children and strengthening families. It includes key information about federal legislation as well as policy-related outcomes research in child welfare. The first edition of The Child Welfare Challenge was hailed by Social Work as an excellent source from which to gain an in-depth understanding of the practice and policy dimensions of child maltreatment, foster care, and adoption and by the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare as essential reading for anyone interested in knowing more about child welfare practice in social work. Within a historical and contemporary context, this book examines major policy, practice, and research issues as they jointly shape current child welfare practice and possible future directions. In addition to describing the major challenges facing the child welfare field, the book highlights some of the service innovations that have been developed, as these could be used to help address some of these challenges. In child welfare the focus is on families and children whose primary recourse to services has been through publicly funded agencies. The contributors consider historical areas of service--foster care and adoptions, in-home family-centered services, child-protective services, and residential services--in which social work has a legitimate, long-standing, and important mission. This is a comprehensive book, but one that appreciates the fact that many areas, such as daycare and early intervention, invite exploration. It is unique in that each chapter describes how policy initiatives and research can or should influence program design and implementation.