Children and Families in Communities: Theory, Research and Policy / Edition 1

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In the past decade the relationship between communities, children and families has inspired a wealth of research and policy initiatives because of a growing belief that the breakdown of families and communities is a significant factor in social problems, including child abuse and juvenile crime. The latest policy initiatives to tackle social problems have therefore targeted communities as well as high risk families.

This title amalgamates the latest research on the relationship between children, families and communities and explores policy and practice implications. Material for practitioners and community development workers is also be included. The book is divided in to three parts:
1) theory
2) the effect of community on children, parents and families
3) interventions and policy implications.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" … a first rate book, which can be both read and applied." (Community Care, August 2006)

"This book offers a wealth of thought-provoking material written in a clear and accessible style." (Children & Society, Volume 21, 2007)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470093573
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/5/2006
  • Series: Wiley Child Protection & Policy Series , #10
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 1,082,470
  • Product dimensions: 6.95 (w) x 9.82 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Barnes is Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, based at the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues. After undergraduate study at University College London and qualifying at the University of Wisconsin to be an educational psychologist she returned to the UK and was awarded her PhD in Psychology from London University in 1983. A member of the newly-formed Fatherhood research group she co-edited a book about the emerging interest in fathers in the UK, Fathers: Psychological Perspectives, with Nigel Beail. In the 1980s she also developed the Early Years Behaviour Checklist with Naomi Richman, a widely used measure of the behavioural problems of young children in group settings published by the UK’s leading test distributor, NFER. Since then she has worked at Harvard in the USA, returning then to London University. Her current research interests are: evaluation of early intervention programmes related to children’s health and development and parenting; community characteristics and the environment as they relate to family functioning and children; the impact of parental illness and the use of assisted reproduction on parenting and child behaviour; and the use of child care in the early years, particularly factors associated with mothers returning to work after having a new baby. Professor Barnes is one of the directors of the national evaluation of the UK government’s Sure Start local programmes initiative.

Ilan Katz is Professor and Acting Director of the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He has had many years of policy, practice and research experience in children’s services. After training in South Africa he started his career as a social worker and manager in London, working in both the statutory and voluntary sector. He was head of practice development and research at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He left to become a civil servant and was Team Leader of the Children’s Fund policy team in the Children and Young People’s Unit, and Head of the Children in Need and Family Support Section of the DfES. He has subsequently returned to research and was Deputy Director of the Policy Research Bureau before emigrating to Australia. He has written extensively on a wide range of topics relating to children and families, including race and ethnicity, parents with mental illness, adoption, youth justice, community and social capital, early intervention, family support and child protection. He is currently the Chief Investigator of both the national evaluation of the Australian Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, and the New South Wales Government Early Intervention Program.

Jill E. Korbin is Professor of Anthropology, Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Co-Director of the Schubert Center for Child Development and the Childhood Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University. She earned her Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of California at Los Angeles. Korbin is a cultural and medical anthropologist. Her awards include the Margaret Mead Award (1986) from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology; a Congressional Science Fellowship (1985–86) through the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Research in Child Development; and the Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Case Western Reserve University. Korbin served on the National Research Council’s Panel on Research on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Institute of Medicine’s Panel on Pathophysiology and Prevention of Adolescent and Adult Suicide. She is Co-Director of the Schubert Center for Child Development and of the Childhood Studies Program. Korbin teaches a range of courses from introductory anthropology to upper division and graduate courses in medical anthropology and on child and family issues from an anthropological perspective. Korbin has published numerous articles on culture and child maltreatment, including her edited book, Child Abuse and Neglect: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (1981, University of California Press), which was the first volume to examine the relationship of culture and child maltreatment. She has published and conducted research on women incarcerated for fatal child maltreatment, on cross-cultural childrearing and child maltreatment, on health, mental health an child rearing among Ohio’s Amish population, and on the impact of neighbourhood factors on child maltreatment and child well-being.

Margaret O’Brien is Professor of Child and Family Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on the Child and Family at the University of East Anglia. She was awarded her Ph.D. in 1984 from the London School of Economics and qualified as a Clinical Psychologist (British Psychological Society) in 1987. She was one of the early figures in fatherhood research in the UK, founding the Fatherhood Research group and co-editing two influential books The Father Figure (1982) with Lorna McKee and Reassessing Fatherhood (1987) with Charlie Lewis. O’Brien’s current research interests are on fathers and family life, children’s neighbourhoods and children’s services. Recent publications include: Children in the City: Home, Neighbourhood and City (with Pia Christensen) (2003, London: Falmer Press) reporting on findings from the Childhood, Urban Space and Citizenship: Child Sensitive Urban Regeneration, ESRC funded Child 5–15 Research Programme; Children’s Trusts: Developing Integrated Services for Children in England (2004 London: DFES); Working Fathers: Earning and Caring (2003, London: Equal Opportunities Commission). Professor O’Brien is one of the directors of the national evaluation of the UK Government’s Children’s Trust intervention to develop integrated children’s services.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors.



1 Introduction.

2 Theories of Community Influence.

3 Assessing Neighbourhood and Community Characteristics.

4 The Influence of Neighbourhood and Community Characteristics on Families and Children.

5 Children and Young People in Communities.

6 Community Interventions and Policy.

7 Community Interventions Aimed at Early Child Development and Parenting Problems.

8 Children’s Participation in Community Consultation and Planning.

9 Schools as Communities and Schools within Communities.

10 Community Based Approaches to Youth Safety and Juvenile Crime.

11 Conclusions.



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