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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2000): Care Welfare - Overseas

CHILD SUPPORT: THE LIMITS OF SOCIAL POLICY BASED ON ASSUMPTIONS OF KNAVERY

S. Uttley

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p. 552-556

Highlights the tensions inherent in the creation in New Zealand of two parallel systems for dealing with children and families, one for financial obligations and one for care and development. The system for the financial support of children is adversarial and hierarchical. It is based on the assumption that people are basically dishonest and self-serving and relies on heavy control and surveillance by government agencies. Decisions are based on revenue control and recovery concerns. In contrast, the family and child welfare system is based on consultation, negotiation and mediation between all parties. Decisions are focused on the welfare of children.

FAMILY TO FAMILY: BUILDING BRIDGES FOR CHILD WELFARE WITH FAMILIES, NEIGHBOURHOODS AND COMMITTEES

J. Omang and K. Bonk

Policy and Practice of Public Human Services, vol. 57, Dec. 1999, p. 15-21

In response to a dramatic increase in the number of children in care in the US, child welfare agency leaders have developed a set of strategies called 'Family to Family'. This approach aims at forming partnerships between birth families, foster parents, community groups and child welfare workers to provide stable and supportive environments for troubled children.

THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM IN LATIN AMERICA: AN OVERVIEW

F. J. Pilotti

Childhood, vol. 6, 1999, p. 408-422

In Latin America today, the majority of children live in extreme poverty, and a significant number are also socially excluded. The world to which these children belong corresponds to that of an underclass, sealed off from all major institutions, disconnected from the mainstream and caught in a hardening cycle of deprivation. A dominant stream of public opinion reacts to this reality with indifference and at times with fear, casting a powerful influence on the public agenda, which, in response, tends to favour short-term assistance programmes or outright repression. On the other hand, children's rights activists have succeeded in having the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified and legal reforms enacted. However, this represents only a partial advance since only formal entitlements have been recognised, but provisions are still sorely lacking.

MAKING CHILD CARE 'AFFORDABLE' IN THE UNITED STATES

B. R. Bergmann

Social Politics, vol. 6, 1999, p. 245-262

Proposes two alternative federally financed plans as models for a programme that would make child care of acceptable quality affordable for millions of American families. Care is defined as affordable if it costs parents no more than 30% of the amount by which their income exceeds the poverty line. The first plan would cost $25 billion a year and would concentrate help on families with incomes up to twice the poverty line. The second would cost $39 billion per year, would provide higher quality care, and would allow all US families to have access to care that was "affordable" by the author's definition.

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