The Circle Game: Services for the Poor in Massachusetts, 1966-1978

The Circle Game: Services for the Poor in Massachusetts, 1966-1978

The Circle Game: Services for the Poor in Massachusetts, 1966-1978

The Circle Game: Services for the Poor in Massachusetts, 1966-1978

Excerpt

I feel like one of the blind men trying to understand an elephant. I know

day care, its rules and regulations, the people involved and the history of

the past five years. But I don't know much about all of the other social

services and I know even less about AFDC or Medicaid. And, when it

comes to understanding how other agencies serve, or ought to serve, our

families, I'm lost.

There are many people who feel like the Cambridge day care worker quoted above. She, like almost all the workers in Massachusetts's human service system, is a dedicated, hard-working woman who wants to provide the best services possible. She knows her own area well--its rules, legal constraints, history, and professional leadership. Yet she is often limited by her lack of a broader context from which to understand her experiences. Her plight is similar to that of the frustrated welfare mother whose teen-aged son is having difficulties:

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