Poor Children and Welfare Reform

By Olivia Golden | Go to book overview
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5
Strategies for Meeting the Challenges
Chapter 3 explained that welfare agencies are in many ways not well suited to serving families and children. However, Chapter 4 identified a range of programs that do serve families and children by way of the welfare system, offering case management for troubled families, health care for mothers and infants, care and education for young children, tutoring for children on the verge of dropping out, and a wide variety of other assistance. How did these programs achieve this success in the light of all the barriers? This chapter proposes two themes as key to understanding their success.On the one hand, all the programs address a set of common tasks. Successful sites have:
Developed a coherent mission to explain why serving families and children is the welfare department's job;
Devoted considerable attention to effective collaboration with children's services agencies, including the development of a common mission and a means of conflict resolution;
Reached out to bring targeted families into services;
Chosen and supported staff who were capable of responsive service delivery in an atmosphere of accountability; and
Identified organizational and funding arrangements that mediated the tensions between responsiveness and accountability.

On the other hand, the successful sites carried out those tasks in quite different ways, depending on their local conditions. Local solutions

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