Welfare

Over twenty-five years and through five editions, Walter I. Trattner's From Poor Law to Welfare State has served as the standard text on the history of welfare policy in the United States. The only comprehensive account of American social welfare history from the colonial era to the present, the new sixth edition has been updated to include the latest developments in our society as well as trends in social welfare.
Trattner provides in-depth examination of developments in child welfare, public health, and the evolution of social work as a profession, showing how all these changes affected the treatment of the poor and needy in America. He explores the impact of public policies on social workers and other helping professions -- all against the backdrop of social and intellectual trends in American history. From Poor Law to Welfare State directly addresses racism and sexism and pays special attention to the worsening problems of child abuse, neglect, and homelessness. Topics new to this sixth edition include:
A review of President Clinton's health-care reform and its failure, and his efforts to "end welfare as we know it"
Recent developments in child welfare including an expanded section on the voluntary use of children's institutions by parents in the nineteenth century, and the continued discrimination against black youth in the juvenile justice system
An in-depth discussion of Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein's controversial book, The Bell Curve, which provided social conservatives new weapons in their war on the black poor and social welfare in general
The latest information on AIDS and the reappearance of tuberculosis -- and their impact on public health policy
A new Preface and Conclusion, and substantially updated Bibliographies
Written for students in social work and other human service professions, From Poor Law to Welfare State: A History of Social Welfare in America is also an essential resource for historians, political scientists, sociologists, and policymakers.
Hailed as a great success, welfare reform resulted in a dramatic decline in the welfare rolls--from 4.4 million families in 1996 to 2 million in 2003. But what does this "success" look like to the welfare mothers and welfare caseworkers who experienced it? In Flat Broke With Children, Sharon Hays tells us the story of welfare reform from inside the welfare office and inside the lives of welfare mothers, describing the challenges that welfare recipients face in managing their work, their families, and the rules and regulations of welfare reform. Welfare reform, experienced on the ground, is not a rosy picture. The majority of adult welfare clients are mothers--over 90 percent--and the time limits imposed by welfare reform throw millions of these mostly unmarried, desperate women into the labor market, where they must accept low wages, the most menial work, the poorest hours, with no benefits, and little flexibility. Hays provides a vivid portrait of their lives--debunking many of the stereotypes we have of welfare recipients--but she also steps back to explore what welfare reform reveals about the meaning of work and family life in our society. In particular, she argues that an inherent contradiction lies at the heart of welfare policy, which emphasizes traditional family values even as its ethic of "personal responsibility" requires women to work and leave their children in childcare or at home alone all day long. Hays devoted three years to visiting welfare clients and two welfare offices, one in a medium-sized town in the Southeast, another in a large, metropolitan area in the West. Drawing on this hands-on research, Flat Broke With Children is the first book to explore the impact of welfare reform on motherhood, marriage, and work in women's lives, and the first book to offer us a portrait of how welfare reform plays out in thousands of local welfare offices and in millions of homes across the nation.
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