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

THE BLEAK PROSPECT FOR PUBLIC CHILD WELFARE

A. L. Schorr

Social Service Review, vol. 74, 2000, p. 124-136

Provides a review of the development of public child welfare services in the US in the 20th century, identifying the blows that degraded the system from the 1960s on. Assesses steps that were taken to reform the system moderately, including administrative restructuring, permanency planning, family preservation and case management. The system is at present underfunded, overburdened and undermined by the application of managed care.

GRANDPARENTS TAKE ON A FAMILIAR ROLE

M. Young and J. Stogden

Working with Older People, vol. 4, Apr. 2000, p. 20-22

Evidence from the United States shows there is a revival in the importance of the extended family. As more people live longer, the role of uncles and aunts is being assumed by grandparents and great-grandparents. Climbing divorce rates, teenage pregnancies and drug use have led to many American grandparents becoming foster parents. Article calls for UK social services also to make more use of grandparents as foster carers.

LOOK WEST

B. Waller

Community Care, no. 1321, 2000, p. 27

Research has shown that poor parenting in the early years adversely affects brain development. This has led in the US to investment in, and improvement of, family support, maternal and child health services and child care. Article goes on to briefly consider implications for the UK.

POLICY NETWORKS IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE: THE CASE OF CHILD CARE POLICY 1980-1989

A. Daguerre

Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 7, 2000, p. 244-260

Article examines the evolution of public policy-making in the field of child care in England and France from 1980 to 1989 using the policy network model. One of the main assumptions of the model is that networks affect policy outcomes. In the case of child care policy, the assumption that policy network characteristics affect outcomes was true only for some stages of the policy-making process. However, at other times the impact of exogenous shocks per se or the influence of cultural traditions were more important than network structures in framing legislative reform in both countries.

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