Child welfare
across borders
  Session 8 - Towards a globalised child welfare



8.1 Introduction

We hope that by now you are feeling as though you have been on quite a global journey in cyberspace and that it is time to move on or even stay put for a while!

This session is designed to help you pull together your strands of thinking and action with which you have been engaged on the course.

You are not expected to embark on any specific new learning, rather take some time to reflect and consolidate the learning you have been doing. So the aims for the session are simple:

Aims of Session

Bullet to provide an opportunity to reflect on the learning journey of the course.
Bullet to encourage linkage of this learning with the concept of a globalised child welfare

Learning Outcomes

Bullet to be more aware and appreciative of the learning that has been achieved on the course.
Bullet to feel able to continue to be a global child welfare practitioner


A note from the author  

It may help you to think about the gains you have made during the course by taking a couple of minutes to read the course writers brief reflections on the process of writing the course.

Writing this course has been a huge learning and reflective opportunity for me. In reading and finding out about topics using the Internet as a resource I have been exposed to a wealth of new insights into the lives of children around the world.

I had been sceptical of the issues of utilising unregulated sources that may carry little weight in the academic world. I realised as I worked my way through the sessions that the Internet provides an opportunity to challenge the privileged discourses of academia and allow practitioners and young people access to a rich orchestra of voices who have different stories and perspectives to share.

I found a value in the web by the way in which I gained immediate access to organisations and people working on behalf of children around the world; people who are keen to find new ways of spreading the word of both the issues facing children and the strategies and initiatives that are being implemented to tackle their needs. The excitement of finding a voice, perhaps from across the globe, silenced by the gatekeeping of professional and academic norms, stays with me.

Possibilities such as abuse survivors finding new connections, more hope for missing children and their families, spreading knowledge conduits that are not constrained by buildings and fees are opening up via the Internet.

I have also sharpened my critical skills. The shock of searching for pictures of children to use within the course and instead being presented by pages of sites devoted to child pornography was partly in the realisation that 'the problem' is not 'out there' but a part of everyone's social responsibility. The lure of sophisticated sites promoting ideas and actions, which are at odds to my own value system, and/or which manipulate potentially vulnerable people was also salutary.

I still struggle to make sense of the disparity between the emphasis in the course on social exclusion and rights to information for children and young people and the Internet being a tool that widens the gap between those on the edges of society and those with power to participate and influence.

I have begun to see more clearly the evolving role of the Internet in assisting in the development of an internationalised commitment to and understanding of child welfare. I see better that effective working with children within borders does in fact require an eye on what's happening across borders too. I have been privileged to be part of the EU/Canada Child Welfare and Child Protection Project and have a renewed sense of the importance and breadth of child welfare work in and between countries.

Julia Waldman May 200

In this session you are invited to participate in two self-assessment exercises and critical reading to assist you in the reflective process

Next Now go to Exercise 1