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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2000): Child Welfare - Overseas

ADOPTION POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES: A WORD OF CAUTION

L. D. Hollingsworth

Social Work, vol.45, 2000, p.183-186

Recent US policies on adoption are aimed at expediting the termination of the rights of parents charged with child maltreatment, while making it easier for those who wish to adopt to do so. Article calls attention to the potential of the legislation for further disadvantaging deprived children and poor families.

CHILDREN WHO COULD HAVE BEEN: THE LEGACY OF CHILD WELFARE IN WEALTHY AMERICA

W. M. Epstein

Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999

Reveals the reality of US foster care by analysing existing descriptive studies. Using data from a variety of regional studies the author evaluates:

  • the general characteristics of children in care;
  • the characteristics of placements, foster parents and birth parents;
  • the quality of placement decisions; and
  • the outcome of foster care.

Results show that children in protective custody adjust poorly to school, exhibit more delinquency and serious psychological disturbance than the general population, and experience more inadequate health supervision. They are typically the offspring of destitute parents many of whom also have medical, emotional or mental deficits. They are most often placed with foster parents, also poor, who lack resources and education to provide an enriching home environment.

IN THE INTEREST OF CHILDREN: RETHINKING FEDERAL AND STATE POLICIES AFFECTING KINSHIP CARE

R. Green

Policy and Practice of Public Human Services, vol.58, 2000, p.19-27

States have used the flexibility within existing federal foster care regulations to design policies that treat kinship foster parents differently to non-kin foster parents. These policies, among other things, allow kin who cannot meet existing licensing standards to care for children in state custody, and attempt to reduce the financial incentives that parents or kin may have to seek child welfare involvement.

NEW DIRECTIONS FOR CHILD SUPPORT AGENCIES WHEN DOMENSTIC VIOLENCE IS AN ISSUE

E. A. Griswold, J. Pearson and N. Thoennes

Policy and Practice of Public Human Services, vol.58, 2000, p.29-36

The US welfare reform legislation of 1996 made sweeping changes in eligibility rules for public assistance. However, victims of domestic violence may not be able to comply with all the requirements of the new legislation, especially the requirement of helping to identify or locate absent fathers. For many victims, fear of reprisal from abusive partners may preclude them from co-operating. Article describes three pilot projects in Colorado, Minnesota and Massachusetts, which focused on how to identify domestic violence victims in public assistance and child support agencies, and meet their safety and child support needs, and how to improve co-operation with child support agencies.

THE UNNECESSARY TRAGEDY OF FATHERLESS CHILDREN: WELFARE REFORM'S RESPONSE

M. Stapleton

Policy and Practice of Public Human Services, vol.58, 2000, p.43-48

For decades, men were ignored as US federal and state government's allocated funds for cash assistance to low-income families. Recent welfare law changes, however, open avenues for assisting low-income fathers so that they can pay child support, create incentives to pay support and strengthen child support enforcement tools for those fathers able but unwilling to pay up.

US AND THEM

B. Waller

Community Care, no.1306, 2000, p.28

Reports briefly on the radical reform of child protection services in the United States, where there has been a move towards the establishment of community based preventive services. Federal funding has also enabled broad-based and continuing planning to identify family support resources in local communities.

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