Academic journal article Family Relations

Kids Raised by the Government

Academic journal article Family Relations

Kids Raised by the Government

Article excerpt

Kids Raised by the Government. I. M. Schwartz and G. Fishman. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 1999. 153 pp. Hardcover ISBN: 0-275-96264-4, $49.95.

Kids Raised by the Government is an investigation into the status of the child welfare system in the United States, with a special focus on Michigan. The authors provide an indepth analysis of the scholarship available on this topic and new information by way of a statistical review of child welfare data from the Michigan Department of Social Services. Both sets of data are used throughout most of the seven chapters.

The first chapter begins with a historical overview of the child welfare system. Schwartz and Fishman discuss the origins, address major historical changes, and introduce contemporary challenges to the system. They detail horror stories of mismanagement and incompetence in various child welfare programs. The problem with these accounts was the lack of apparent order to the reports. Alphabetical, regional, chronological, or even groupings by similar systemic concerns were all organizational options, but none were used.

The second chapter goes into more depth and discusses the history of child welfare reform in the United States. Two elements in this chapter warrant further discussion. The chapter begins and ends with citing former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan as an expert on welfare and leading critic of family preservation services. Notably, many who are interested in minority family issues regard Moynihan as infamous for his "Moynihan Report" that blamed inner city families for their poverty, essentially absolving the government and other aspects of society of any responsibility. …

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