Scandalous Politics: Child Welfare Policy in the States

Overview

Little work has been done to systematically analyze how high-profile incidents of child neglect and abuse shape child welfare policymaking in the United States. In Scandalous Politics, Juliet Gainsborough presents quantitative analysis of all fifty states and qualitative case studies of three states (Florida, Colorado, and New Jersey) that reveal how well-publicized child welfare scandals result in adoption of new legislation and new administrative procedures.

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Overview

Little work has been done to systematically analyze how high-profile incidents of child neglect and abuse shape child welfare policymaking in the United States. In Scandalous Politics, Juliet Gainsborough presents quantitative analysis of all fifty states and qualitative case studies of three states (Florida, Colorado, and New Jersey) that reveal how well-publicized child welfare scandals result in adoption of new legislation and new administrative procedures.

Gainsborough's quantitative analysis suggests that child welfare policymaking is frequently reactive, while the case studies provide more detail about variations and the legislative process. For example, the case studies illustrate how the nature and extent of the policy response varies according to particular characteristics of the political environment in the state and the administrative structure of the child welfare system.

Scandalous Politics increases our understanding of the politics of child welfare at both the state and federal level and provides new insights into existing theories of agenda-setting and the policy process. It will be of interest to everyone involved with child welfare policymaking and especially public policy and public administration scholars.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589017078
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2010
  • Series: American Governance and Public Policy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Juliet F. Gainsborough is an associate professor of political science at Bentley University. She is author of Fenced Off: The Suburbanization of American Politics.

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Table of Contents

Preface

List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction: Child Welfare and the Politics of Scandal

2. The Swinging Pendulum: Child Welfare Policy at the National Level

3. States, Scandals, and Child Welfare Policy

4. Florida: Scandal, Electoral Politics, and Leadership Change

5. Colorado: Investigative Journalism, Local Control, and Minor Reform

6. New Jersey: Scandals, Courts, and Ongoing Reform

7. Conclusion: Scandalous Politics

Appendix 1: Testimony at Congressional Hearings on Child Welfare

Appendix 2: Data Sources and Descriptive Statistics for Chapter 3

References

Selected Interviews

Index

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