Academic journal article Family Relations

Origins of This Special Issue

Academic journal article Family Relations

Origins of This Special Issue

Article excerpt

This special issue is the result of an 18-month project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The purpose of this effort was to explore and advance both the scholarly literature and debate around three significant issues facing low-income and working-poor families. In order to meet this goal, the National Council on Family Relations assumed the daunting task of convening three study groups to explore key issues of interest to the Foundation. These included effective mothering, economic stability and financial decision-making processes, and competing Stressors and tensions in low-income and working-poor families. Each group consisted of 8 to 10 of the top researchers and practitioners in the nation, selected because of their contribution to and expertise in the topic areas. Study group members agreed to participate in two meetings, one scheduled during the summer 2002 and the second scheduled at the 2002 annual meeting in Houston.

Participation also meant that collectively these scholars and practitioners agreed to develop three policy discussion facts sheets, a special issue of NCFR Report, and this special issue of Family Relations. With the publication of this issue, NCFR has completed what initially seemed like an arduous and often overwhelming commitment.

I was honored to serve as the facilitator of these study groups. I recall being awed by the work ethic of the participants as they kept to a fairly rigid and tiresome schedule; we packed every possible moment with discussion so our short time together was well used. Members worked hard to discover common ground and meaning and share divergent perspectives, all while keeping ever present the necessary end result and products for which they would be responsible. They engaged in dialogue rich with theory, research, and practice implications. All participants were intrigued by the opportunity to affect public policy with their combined efforts and rose superbly to this challenge. …

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