For Reasons Of Poverty

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Overview

The public child welfare system has been increasingly attacked for failing to implement long-standing national policies, especially family preservation. Pelton, a social work educator, continues this attack, but in a uniquely comprehensive, coherent, and compelling manner. His well-documented critique focuses on the philosophical underpinnings and internal workings of public child welfare, especially its medicalization of child abuse; inappropriate out-of-home placement of children for reasons of poverty; excessive reliance on foster care; and dysfunctional dual structure (investigative versus helping roles). . . . [His] analysis is powerful and provocative and should be required reading for all engaged or interested in child welfare. Choice

This volume reveals how the modern public child welfare system and its forerunners have failed to serve professed child welfare policies that have been enunciated from the beginning of this century to the present. The basic dynamics, operational structure, and direction of the child welfare system are thoroughly scrutinized by Pelton with the intent of promoting productive controversy. One of the central issues discussed by the book is the separation of children from their parents by child welfare agencies. Evidence is presented that shows that, throughout this century, child removal has survived as a major tactic in regard to child welfare problems despite a long-standing policy of family preservation. This is the only book to be critical not only of the child welfare system, but of recent attempts to improve it, namely, the permanency planning movement. It is also the only one to propose an entirely new structure for the child welfare system.

For Reasons of Poverty begins with a historical review of child welfare through the twentieth century and then examines the crusade against child abuse. Next, the book covers the foster care system, the permanency planning movement, and the dual role of the child welfare system. The last chapter of the volume focuses on a plan for restructuring the child welfare system in the United States, which Pelton believes could be realistically accomplished within the larger ongoing economic and social welfare policy context. This book should be of particular interest to child welfare administrators in public and private agencies and to child welfare advocates and social workers. Additionally, it contains information applicable to a number of different fields, including social work, public policy, sociology, and psychology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275930738
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/6/1989
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

LEROY H. PELTON is Professor and Chair of the Children and Family Services Concentration in the School of Social Work at Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Child Welfare Through the Twentieth Century: Policy and Reality

The Crusade Against Child Abuse

Whose Neglect? The State Intervenes

The Permanency Planning Movement

An Analysis of the Dual Role Structure of the Child Welfare System

Restructuring the Public Child Welfare System

Bibliography

Indexes

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