Professor Jill Duerr Berrick's newest book, The Impossible Imperative: Navigating the Competing Principles of Child Protection (Oxford University Press), has received an honorable mention for the 2019 Outstanding Social Work Book Award. Conferred by the Society for Social Work and Research, the award recognizes outstanding scholarly contributions that advance social work knowledge.
The Impossible Imperative: Navigating the Competing Principles of Child Protection lays out a framework for conducting principled child welfare practice. Dr. Berrick argues that the field is shaped by competing ideas that force child welfare professionals to make choices that are both contested and contentious. Although the principles serve to animate child welfare practice and policy, they are fraught with contradiction when placed in a real-world context. Joined by 15 co-authors who are former Berkeley students and who have served as child welfare professionals across California, these writers share their stories about working on the front lines of child protection. Using these rich case exemplars, the book draws the reader into that liminal space where ethics, morality, and reasoned choice are challenged. The book had previously been described as "essential reading for anyone considering a career in the child welfare field" by the Journal of Public Child Welfare.
Dr. Berrick is the Zellerbach Family Foundation Professor at the School of Social Welfare. Her research focuses on the child welfare system and efforts to improve the experiences of children and families touched by foster care.