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Vulnerable Child: The Hidden Epidemic of Neglected and Troubled Children Even Within the Middle Class

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The Vulnerable Child takes us beyond stereotypes and superficial categorizations to provide a thorough examination of the true nature of childhood disadvantage. Richard Weissbourd interviewed hundreds of children and professionals from areas as diverse as Danville, Arkansas; New York City; Seattle; Boston; Chicago; and Baltimore. He also reexamined a broad spectrum of past and present research. What he found is that, while poverty and racial prejudice contribute greatly to the disadvantage of millions of ...
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New.. 1st edition.. Light wear to dust jacket only.. Quantity Available: 1. ISBN: 0201483955. ISBN/EAN: 9780201483956. Inventory No: ABE449447226. 1st Edition.

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Boston, MA 1996 Hardcover 1st Edition New Book in Good jacket New. 1st edition. Light wear to dust jacket only. Quantity Available: 1. ISBN: 0201483955. ISBN/EAN: 9780201483956. ... Inventory No: ABE449447226. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Vulnerable Child takes us beyond stereotypes and superficial categorizations to provide a thorough examination of the true nature of childhood disadvantage. Richard Weissbourd interviewed hundreds of children and professionals from areas as diverse as Danville, Arkansas; New York City; Seattle; Boston; Chicago; and Baltimore. He also reexamined a broad spectrum of past and present research. What he found is that, while poverty and racial prejudice contribute greatly to the disadvantage of millions of children, in fact most children at risk are not poor, and there is much evidence to suggest that factors such as chronic parental stress and depression have a more powerful influence on a child's fate than whether or not there are two parents in the home or whether or not the family lives below the poverty line. The Vulnerable Child demonstrates why so many of our efforts to help children have failed. More important, it describes in detail programs that have approached disadvantage from this more perceptive and integrated perspective - in health care, in education, in child protective services, and in community policing - and have brilliantly succeeded. The two most fundamental lessons are that, to help kids, programs must strengthen parents, and programs must provide a ladder of meaningful opportunities. The Vulnerable Child not only shows us what can be done to help; it shows conclusively that the children needing help are not somehow "other." They are all America's children.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beginning in the 1980s, Weissbourd, a family issues expert, interviewed and spent time with the disadvantaged children and their families whose stories presented here shatter monolithic concepts of poverty and an underclass. In positioning poor children as distinct individuals, often poor at only some point in their lives, Weissbourd demonstrates that poverty hurts children in a range of subtle ways that have nothing to do with neglect or abuse. He states, moreover, that ``a good deal of evidence suggests that most vulnerable children are not poor.'' His research indicates that such parenting deficits as depression, stress and community isolation often punish children, who become scapegoats or assume other negative roles. The chain of interactions that makes a child vulnerable is followed with compassion in this challenging report, which ``shows that children are not typically doomed because of poverty, or other risk factors at early ages.'' An important advisory for all in service of children. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Harvard-affiliated Weissbourd includes snippets of troubled children's (and parents') lives to enhance the theme of this solid work, that there is no simple circumstance (low income, single parent) that gives rise to a disadvantaged childhood. What does commonly exist in such an environment is a poverty of knowledge about children and their development, a failure to understand the interrelation of family and community circumstances. Weissbourd identifies institutions he feels well positioned to develop and practice informed holistic programs to salvage children at risk: schools, child protective services, police, and community officials. Boston's South End Community Center, Hawaii's Healthy Start, New Haven, Connecticut's Lincoln Bassett Elementary School, and South Carolina's Resource Mothers program are cited as examples of efforts that work. Policymakers, government representatives, educators, and social workers could attend to this thoughtful and reasoned argument, perhaps to the benefit of more than the children. Recommended for academics, professionals, and the general public.-Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201483956
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

A Note on Methodology
Acknowledgments
1 What Ever Happened to Huckleberry Finn? 3
2 The Real Roots of Success and Failure 31
3 Families Untied? 47
4 Looking Inside Families 71
5 The Roots of Gangs and Cliques 81
6 Communities: More than Kind and Less than Kin 97
7 The Troubles of Ghetto Children 111
8 Why Our Efforts to Help Children Fail 125
9 Healthy Starts 147
10 Schools That Work 169
11 Even If the Boat Goes Down: Child Protective Services 187
12 The Police 201
13 Beyond the Edifice Complex: What Cities Can Do 223
Selected Bibliography 263
Permission Acknowledgments 265
Index 267
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