Explorations in Social Policy

Explorations in Social Policy

Explorations in Social Policy

Explorations in Social Policy

Excerpt

"ADC: What Direction?" is an open-ended question, likely to stimulate the susceptible to fantasy. I want to consider first major possible internal changes in Aid to Dependent Children, and then consider the task, or mission, that is given ADC and ask if this program alone can be expected to discharge it. In both cases, I propose to be more specific about the condition that needs to be corrected or the gap that needs to be filled than about the remedy. In social policy perhaps more than in medicine, diagnosis is only the most general guide to the remedy.

Let us start with the problem of ADC that is the most familiar burden on a social worker's conscience--he absent-parent provision. The provision that ADC is available only if a parent is absent or incapacitated operates precisely counter to any cohesive forces in the family. When rent money is a week-to-week issue, the tentative inclination of partners to reconciliation, to live together, or to marry, tends to be deterred by the fact that, even if need continues, ADC will end. Caseworkers know this, if administrators sometimes seem doubtful. Some may feel that it demeans the clients to suggest that their marriages would be affected by money, yet it is the caseworkers who appreciate more than anyone

Reprinted from Child Welfare , XLI (1962), 72-78, 90, by permission of Child
Welfare .

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