3
SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

INTRODUCTION

The first line of defense in child welfare services is to support, reinforce, and strengthen the ability of parents and children to meet the responsibilities of their respective statuses. Supportive services are designed for children living in their own homes. In these instances, both parents are generally present and show some willingness and capacity to enact their roles effectively. However, there may be difficulties in the parent--child relationship as a result of parent--child conflict or as a reflection of marital conflict.

We start with supportive services because it is, logically, the first service to use when a family needs help with a parent--child problem. We always act on the supposition that until proven otherwise, the best place for the child is in his own home, cared for by his own parents. Supportive services are an exemplification of this orientation.

In making use of such services, the family remains structurally intact. The child can remain, and be maintained, in his own home despite some malfunction in the parent--child relationship system. In offering supportive services, the agency does not take over the responsibility for discharging any of the role functions of either parent or child. The service always remains external to the family's social structure. Supportive service is different from supplementary services, for instance, where some significant aspect of the role is performed by some other parental figure, such as a homemaker, or by some social institution, such as the income maintenance programs.

The two principal agencies offering supportive services are the family service agencies and the child guidance clinics. The family service agencies intervene more frequently through service to the parent; the child guidance clinic, through service to the child. Both agencies hope to effect changes that will enable parents and child to live together with greater satisfaction and less friction. The aim is to lessen the danger of family disruption by improving the social functioning of family members.

The work of family service agencies and child guidance units is one significant component of services to children in their own homes, designed ultimately so that the child can continue to live in his own home.

-75-

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Child Welfare Services
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Child Welfare: Orientation and Scope 1
  • Introduction 1
  • Summary 28
  • Bibliography 29
  • 2 - Perspectives on Child Welfare Services 33
  • Bibliography 70
  • 3 - Supportive Services 75
  • Introduction 75
  • Summary 107
  • 4 - Supplementary Services: Social Insurance and Public Assistance 115
  • Introduction 115
  • Summary 146
  • Bibliography 147
  • 5 - Protective Services 151
  • Introduction 151
  • Summary 222
  • Bibliography 234
  • 6 - Homemaker Services 235
  • Introduction 235
  • Summary 260
  • Bibliography 262
  • 7 - Day-Care Service 267
  • Introduction 267
  • Summary 306
  • Bibliography 307
  • 8 - Substitute Care: Foster-Family Care 313
  • Introduction 313
  • Summary 400
  • Bibliography 402
  • 9 - The Unmarried Mother and the Out-Of-Wedlock Child 413
  • Introduction 413
  • Summary 456
  • Bibliography 457
  • 10 - Substitute Care: Adoption 465
  • Introduction 465
  • Summary 565
  • Bibliography 567
  • 11 - The Child-Caring Institution 583
  • Introduction 583
  • Summary 621
  • Bibliography 623
  • 12 - Child Welfare Services in Other Countries 631
  • Introduction 631
  • Summary 665
  • Bibliography 666
  • 13 - The Sociology of the Child Welfare Worker 673
  • Introduction 673
  • Summary 695
  • Bibliography 697
  • Index 701
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