Children and Youth in Limbo: A Search for Connections

By Nadia Ehrlich Finkelstein | Go to book overview

6
Outreach Preventive Services: Families at Risk

Associated with the massive changes in American society, there are families in every community who fail to provide the housing, nutrition, medical care, and child care required to assure success for the next generation in family living and in the workplace. Due to longstanding histories of family and individual difficulties, many of these people are unable to use the support services described in chapter 5; they are well known to their communities and to all helping community agencies.

These families show little progress for all the effort invested in them. They consume a large share of the social services and Medicaid budgets of their communities, often because of needs and illnesses that would be prevented by healthier, more productive lifestyles. This affluent society is only beginning to get a grip on situations that generate child abuse, domestic violence, and family member eviction. The victims too often are children who as adults become the populations of our penal systems.


FROM CHILDREN'S SERVICES TO FAMILY SERVICES

With the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935, federally funded Aid to Dependent Children was established to discourage out-of-home placement of children merely because of family poverty. The 1939 White House Conference for Children and Youth emphasized that it was wrong to remove children from their families for reasons of poverty alone.

But the latest milestone in family social legislation is the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, Public Law 96-272. Enacted on 17 June 1980

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