Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Putting Families First: America's Family Support Movement and the Challenge of Change Edited by Sharon L. Kagan and Bernice Weissbourd

Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Putting Families First: America's Family Support Movement and the Challenge of Change Edited by Sharon L. Kagan and Bernice Weissbourd

Article excerpt

Kagan, Sharon L., and Weissbourd, Bernice. (Eds.). (1994). Putting Families First: America's Family Support Movement and the Challenge of Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 514 pages. Hardcover ISBN 1-55542-667-0, price $45.00.

This 20-chapter volume is probably the most comprehensive book on family support on the market today. It is refreshing to have, finally, a practical, yet scholarly work that openly declares in its title the rightful status of families in our culture. Research continues to demonstrate that families have the first and foremost influence on human development, and that strengthening families ecologically is the most effective problem prevention strategy available.

Putting Families First contains a wealth of information from the leading scholars and practitioners in the family support field. The book is divided into six parts that provide students and established professionals alike with appropriate breadth and depth of discussion.

After providing a demographic and historical context for current family support efforts (Part 1), authors address the influx of family support in various institutions: schools, the health care system, social services, the workplace, the Black church, and prisons (Part 2). Several family support challenges are noted in Part 3, namely providing assistance for family support professionals themselves, caring for the elderly, programming for diversity, and funding concerns. In Part 4, family support strategies from local to federal levels are discussed. Part 5 takes an introspective approach and discusses quality issues in programs and training needs for family support professionals, and asks whether family support programs really make a difference for families. …

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