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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2006): Child Welfare - Overseas

A.W. Leschied and others

Community, Work and Family, vol.9, 2006, p.29-46

This study investigated the relationship between poverty, child welfare services and outcomes related to children and families who came to the attention of a children’s aid society in Canada. A comparison of rates of poverty between 1995 and 2001 indicates a stable rate of almost two-thirds of families on social assistance. Families’ ability to cope with poverty declined dramatically over this period, with the percentage of children from welfare dependent families being admitted to public care nearly doubling. Evidence also suggests that the vast majority of parents in poverty whose children come to the attention of the child welfare agency are single mothers who are coping with some form of domestic violence.

I. Lessa

British Journal of Social Work, vol.36, 2006, p.283-298

Article analyses how an agency in Canada worked to present teenage single mothers as responsible young women who deserve a chance rather than as feckless and lazy. Teenage mothers are portrayed as citizens entitled to support from society in bringing up their children instead of as passive welfare recipients. This strategy has been successful in attracting resources for the young mothers involved with the agency.

Who pays? The visible and invisible costs of child care

M.K. Meyers and A. Durfee

Politics and Society, vol.34, 2006, p.109-128

This article estimates the more and less visible costs of nonparental child care used by families with children under six. Using data collected as part of the New York Social Indicator Survey, in combination with city- and state-level administrative data, the authors estimate direct parental expenditure on child care, the market value of services and subsidies provided by government, and the market value of unpaid care by family, friends and neighbours. Unpaid family and friends provide a significant share of all nonparental care that is largely invisible in conventional economic measures. If their labour is valued in terms of either market replacements for their services or compensation for their foregone wages, it would represent one-third to one-half of the total public and private contributions to the provision of nonparental care.

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