1st Edition

Child Guidance Centres in Japan Alternative Care, Social Work, and the Family

By Michael Rivera King Copyright 2021
    282 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    In contemporary Japan, 85% of children in alternative care remain housed in large welfare institutions, as opposed to family-based foster care. This publication examines how Japan has been isolated from global discourse on alternative care, urging a shift in social work and alternative care policies.

    As the first ethnographic account from inside child guidance centres, it makes a key contribution towards understanding the closed world of Japan’s social services; including the decision-making processes by which a child is removed from the family and placed into care. In addition, regional variation in policy implementation for alternative care is outlined, with reference to detailed case studies and a discussion around organisational cultures of the child guidance centres. Where foster care is constructed as anything other than professional, it is often seen as a threat to the child’s family-bond with their natal parent and therefore not used. Child Guidance Centres in Japan destabilises this construction of the family-bond as singular and discrete, highlighting new practices in alternative care.

    Child Guidance Centres in Japan: Alternative Care and the Family will be a vital resource for students, scholars of social work and Japanese studies, as well as practitioners and lobbyists involved in alternative care.

    Part 1: Introduction 1. Introduction Part 2. The Context of Alternative Care 2. Alternative Care 3. Child Guidance Centres 4. The Family-Bond Part 3. Regional Variation of Policy Implementation 5. Regional Variation of Resources 6. Regional Variation of Norms 7. Regional Variation of Organisational Cultures Part 4. Conclusion 8. Conclusion


    Michael Rivera King completed his doctorate in Social Policy at the University of Oxford. His research interests centre on Japan’s alternative care system and the children and care-leavers whose lives are touched by this. Michael is the CEO of Ashinaga Association in the UK, a registered charity (number 1183750) promoting international access to higher education in the UK.

    "This book represents a Copernican change to our understanding of alternative care in Japan and answers the question of Japan's continued use of institutional care over foster care." - Tsuzaki Tetsuo