What is Social work

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Social work is an amorphous career that entails and concerns assisting people, disadvantaged groups, and communities to improve their well-being. Professional social workers' goal is to ensure that relevant social services and organizations help individuals develop healthy habits, abilities, and talents, including but not limited to using their own and the environment's resources to provide solutions. For example, social workers help affected individuals resolve social issues such as healing from and preventing violent acts, eradicating injustice, and engaging in domestic violence. As a result, the emphasis of this paper is on comparing and contrasting two articles: “Faulty child welfare system the real issue behind the youth justice crisis” and “Faulty child welfare system the real issuebehind the youth justice crisis,” and “Offending behaviour among young people with complex needs in the Australian out-of-home care system” authored by McFarlane (2017) and Malvaso, and Delfabbro (2015) respectively informing the audience of social work issues in aspects of the main points, the particular messages passed across, identification of the writing style, credibility of the information and possible questions that have been left unanswered.

Similarities and/or Differences in the Main Arguments of the Articles

According to McFarlane (2017), the main argument is to inform the audience that the welfare system is to blame for many vulnerable children of the state being involved in criminal activities. McFarlane notes that the problem is evident as proven by series of recent riots, escapes and inside assaults that occur within the detention and correctional facilities. In particular, McFarlane highlights specific welfare systems including the Residential Care and Anglicare Victoria that should take the responsibility for the rot that welfare systems are facing. Furthermore, McFarlane in her article argues that there are numerous missing links that need to be bridged. For example, she informs the audience that her research has revealed that the children welfare agencies have failed to publish the numbers of children who are sentenced to serve jail terms while still under the care of the welfare systems. The arguments are not limited to missing publications but also include police failing to include care status in official forms, children courts failing to keep records and the NSW Bureau of Statistics and Research failing to keep the data as well as the Victoria Sentencing Council and other relevant bodies that run the correctional facilities.

Similarly, Malvaso and Delfabbro (2015) main argument is that the welfare experiences significantly influence the ability to moderate, mitigate, as well as exacerbate the maltreatment –offending associations. The authors highlight and create awareness that there are certain faults within the welfare systems that contribute to offending behaviors including the juveniles’ being participants in the criminal activities. However, as opposed to McFarlane’s argument that there are missing links such as records and relevant data aforementioned above across all the welfare systems that can help curb the problems, Malvaso and Delfabbro inform the audience that there are sufficient data to show the relations among the various welfare systems and childhood maltreatment and subsequent offending? For example, the authors highlight that vulnerabilities and developmental results for children out-of-care are well documented for effective referencing.

Similarities and/or Differences in the Message the Authors Are Sending To Policy Makers

McFarlane (2017) and Malvaso, and Delfabbro (2015) all have a common message to pass to the policy makers. In particular, they intend to inform the policy makers that there is a great problem within the children welfare systems that call for the quickest intervention techniques. Malvaso and Delfabbro in their article target the policy makers in order to inform them that there are some potential mechanisms that lead to the increased offending behaviors witnessed in Child Welfare Systems. Hence, the policy makers can rely on their study’s findings to understand the mechanisms that can be employed to develop effective intervention strategies.

At large, the article by Malvaso, and Delfabbro is a great source of researched factors associated with offending behavior among the young people and provides the reference to which the relevant policy makers can use to ascertain the information presented. The implication is that the policy makers can rely on the study’s findings since they are evidence-based and can be applied to real life situations to manage the offending menace.

According to (McFarlane, 2017) the economic aspects of justice facilities are costing the societies, communities and the state billions in the long run. Therefore, the policy makers should take into account the recommendations and ideologies that it is high times that, governments and mandated agencies became transparent and honest in informing the general public that they are facing problems. In so doing, the policy makers would be able to devise strategies that are able to moderate and mitigate the issues that lead the youth justice crisis.

Differences in the Style of Writing Used

The author’s based on the ideologies that they intended to pass to their target audiences applied different writing styles. For instance, McFarlane used persuasive writing style to inform her target audience of the faults existing within the child welfare system. McFarlane’s article has the gesture and intention of convincing the audience that Welfare Systems are responsible for children being involved in criminal activities. Notable in the article are evidence of McFarlane being biased and comprehensively writes about personal opinions. The author used personal opinions with no facts to support the arguments. The article is highly integrated with reasons and justifications for the rot in the welfare system. The author already has a formed opinion of the issues leading to the faults of the welfare system and uses all approaches to convince the audience to agree with their ideologies. The concluding remarks by McFarlane that is more like a recommendation ask the target audience to respond to a call for action. For example, it is notable that the author is giving the audience and policy makers an ultimatum that only when the governments and agencies become transparent and honest that they can solve the real issues behind the justice crisis.

On the other hand, the writing style that Malvaso and Delfabbro adopted for their article is expository. This is due to the articles ability offer explanations. The authors use facts from credible sources to inform their target audience of the offending behavior among the young people with complex behavior without expressions that suggests personal opinions or ability to convince the audience to conceptualize their points of view. They offer their explanations in a chronological order introducing the audience to the topic, the method used to acquire the information or data, the measures taken to ascertain the data such as analysis, the results, discussion of the results and finally concluding remarks that are based on the findings and their relevance.

The audience as opposed to being called for action as in the case of persuasive writing style is given the opportunity to find rationale within the article based on facts, figures, and pieces of evidence that can be verified from other sources. The sequential means of presentation as aforementioned above that quotes the source of information included in the article assures that audience of the seriousness and purpose that the information would be yet to serve hence the significance of in-text citations for the figures and facts for easier verification.

Differences in the Credibility of the Articles

Comparison and contrast of the two articles show that the article by Malvaso, & Delfabbro (2015) is more credible compared to that of McFarlane (2017).Thought they both have useful information that interests the target audience and the correctional policy makers and the judicial service systems, the former article is more credible and appropriate for the field for which it has been establishing since it contains a list of references from which information presented can be verified, it targets a special type of audience and uses language terminologies that the audience are informed of. Nevertheless, the article is peer reviewed meaning that it has gone under rigorous scrutiny to be published not limited to the authors having credentials and affiliations in respect to other publications.

On the contrary, the article by McFarlane (2017) is less credible owing to the fact that the information presented is more of personal opinions hence are subject to being biased. For example, the article only mentions names which put the audience to conduct more research on the topic since the article’s information lack references from which the information have been drawn, There is no list of bibliography and in-text citations to ascertain the sources of information. The implication is that the article has not gone are the peer review process to qualify as a credible source of information.

Questions Left Unanswered From Each Article

The various questions that have been left unanswered in regards to McFarlane (2017) are how to implement the recommendation that it has suggested while Malvaso, & Delfabbro (2015) have failed to answers the questions on what recommendations can be used to strategize the interventions after the potential mechanisms.


Comparison and contrast of information source is a great way of learning. The exercise shades light on the information presented by the authors hence the learner is able to integrate ideas for effective understanding, interpretation, and conceptualization of the authors’ messages. Above all, comparison and contrast of articles enable the learner to verify sources and establish their credibility before taking into account the information presented.



McFarlane, K. (2017). Faulty child welfare system the real issue behind the youth justice crisis. Green Left Weekly, (1126), 9.

Malvaso, C. G., & Delfabbro, P. (2015). Offending behaviour among young people with complex needs in the Australian out-of-home care system. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(12), 3561-3569.

September 01, 2021

Crime Life



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