Family service agencies and child guidance clinics, in helping with problems of child welfare, primarily operate to strengthen and reinforce the parents in discharging their parental roles, but they do not in any way attempt to assume the parents' responsibility. The service remains, in effect, outside the family system. Supplementary services, on the other hand, enter into the social system of the family. They are designed to discharge some part, however limited, of the role responsibility of the parent. For the period of time that the supplementary service is offered, the family embodies the biological parent(s) and the supplementary parent in the guise of the agency. Supplementary services include the income maintenance programs, day care, and homemaker service.

There is an overlap between the supplementary services and the supportive services. As one aspect of their role is supplemented, the parents are able to discharge others more competently. Where the parental role is left permanently vacant because of death, illegitimacy, desertion, divorce, or separation, or is temporarily unfilled because of imprisonment, military service, illness, or unemployment, serious dislocation of the parent-child system takes place and necessitates some arrangement for role supplementation.

One of the principal roles of the parent is to provide for the child and ensure his healthy development. In our money economy, this means that the family must have a cash income, and the responsibility for implementing the wageearner role is generally delegated to the father, although the mother may supplement his income. Income maintenance programs are designed to act in loco parentis--in place of parents or as supplementary parents--as far as this aspect of parental role responsibility is concerned.

Unemployment, disability, or death of the wage earner may result in the loss of family income. Workman's compensation, unemployment insurance, and the Old Age, Survivors', and Disability Insurance (OASDI) are social insurance programs that provide for income maintenance for the family faced with such situations. Public assistance programs--general assistance and the Aid to Families of Dependent Children program--cover some of the contingencies provided for by the social insurances and for others as well. Thus assistance may be granted


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Child Welfare Services


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