The ever changing context of Child and Family Practice
This chapter discusses the social and political context relevant to Child and Family Practice in Australia and in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. It addresses universal policy challenges confronting child and family practitioners and leaders as well as challenges related to matters such as risk management, the politicisation of welfare reform and child protection, constrained resources and the tension between politically popular and well-evidenced interventions. The chapter explores issues of evidence-based and evidence-informed practice and their relationship to practice wisdom. This chapter also describes the need, indicated by the increasing complexity of child and family work, for high levels of knowledge and skill at both the organisational and individual practitioner level and, thus, for high-quality, post-qualifying leadership programs for this industry. The chapter will introduce the program Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Practice Leadership that was designed to contribute to addressing these issues.