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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2006): Child welfare - overseas

Collaborate with caution: protecting children, helping mothers

L. Davies and J. Krane

Critical Social Policy, vol.26, 2006, p.412-425

Recent recognition of the effects of domestic violence on children have given rise to calls for collaboration between child protection and domestic violence services in the USA. However, the radically different approaches of the two services could potentially exacerbate mothers’ difficulties. In the child welfare context, mothers are relegated to the periphery of concern and are expected to act as protectors of children at risk. In the context of domestic violence shelters, the focus is on the need for the woman to leave an abusive mate and develop autonomy, leaving little room for supporting women in their role as mothers.

Decline in pre-school use in post-socialist societies: the case of Bulgaria

M. Meurs and L. Giddings

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.16, 2006, p.155-166

This preliminary examination of the data on pre-school enrolments in post-socialist Bulgaria finds that declines in use far outstrip declines in the availability of places, suggesting that declines in enrolment are driven by demand-side factors. Municipalities with higher unemployment rates, and thus a lower need for care, had significantly lower levels of enrolments. Lower earnings also had a negative impact on enrolments, independent of the need for care. Since ability to pay has an impact on enrolments independent of the need for care, this suggests that pre-school is valued for other reasons and may be used if resources are available, even if care is not needed. In other words, state-socialist policy appears to have been successful in convincing parents pre-school enrolment can provide long-term advantages in terms of educational outcomes.

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