This chapter draws upon 14 years of related ethnographic studies to uncover the principal features that characterize family life among the poor. Experiences dealing with multiple agencies are discussed, as well as experiences dealing with health problems in the context of the U.S. medical care system, and the aftermaths of household emergencies. 34 references.
This chapter reviews how theorists and policymakers portray the state’s capacity to alter the behavior and beliefs of low income parents and then highlights findings from a study of two women’s experiences in their efforts to find jobs and supportive resources. Finding a job and securing welfare supports were linked to their parenting pathway, however, the mothers’ first concern was their children’s well-being. The chapter concludes by exploring whether the motivating power of raising children might lead to a more effective family policy. 34 references. (Author abstract modified)
Findings are shared from a longitudinal, qualitative study that examined the links between urban poverty-related conditions and the quality of parent-child relationships in 10 families, specifically the care and protection of infants and toddlers. The effects on parenting of the family cap, subsidized child care, and welfare-to-work requirements are discussed. 22 references.
This chapter synthesizes the results of both quantitative experimental and qualitative research about how low-income children fare as their mothers spend more time in the labor market and attempt to strike a new balance between work and parenting. Findings indicate policies that effectively increase parental income as they increase employment improve the well-being of young children and are the most promising for helping families cope. Numerous references.
A study used qualitative methods to explore the specific mechanisms and processes through which poverty and welfare changes affected 186 low-income families with young children. Particular attention was paid to the relative influences of factors related to welfare reform, family financial resources, and characteristics associated with parent, child, and family functioning. Case studies are offered. 26 references.
This chapter reports on in-depth interviews with 41 current and recent TANF recipients that discussed the various contributions that fathers make to their children, their strengths and limitations as fathers, and the benefits and challenges of their varying levels of participation in family life. It then explores whether mothers’ voices can inform policy options. 1 table and numerous references.
This final chapter reviews major findings from qualitative studies of low-income families facing a new policy environment that calls for women to work outside the home in addition to managing the second shift of work inside the home. Findings indicate women continue to put their children’s needs above paid employment, few women experience real economic gains by increased work participation, and children’s well-being appears to be buffered and advanced by women’s well-being, social support, and parenting quality. 39 references.
Fathers are critical to their children's growth and development. Research on the involvement of men with their children stresses the important role that fathers play from infancy to adolescence. Due to the ethnically diverse population of fathers in America, culture and context frames the nature of fathering and shapes expectations within a cultural milieu. The book offers a wide range of vantage points–social work, family studies, marriage and family therapy, counseling, sociology, psychology, gender studies, anthropology, cultural and ethnic studies, urban studies, and health. There are…
This fact sheet profiles the Parents as Teachers program, an evidence-based home visiting approach that builds strong families and promotes positive parent-child interaction so children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. Findings from a 2004 study on the benefits and costs of prevention and early intervention programs are shared and indicate Parents as Teachers had the largest benefit per dollar of cost ($1.23) of all reviewed pre-kindergarten education programs for children up to age 3. Goals of the Parent as Teachers program are explained and include: enhance parent knowledge of child…
This introduction discusses the development of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program (HIPPY), a home-based early intervention program that helps parents teach skills important to school readiness and success to their 3 to 5-year-old children. This free service is delivered by HIPPY home visitors who live in targeted high-need communities. It discusses the goals of the book, including its advocacy of an international network that can increase the productivity, quality, and quantity of HIPPY programs, its use as a resource for HIPPY practitioners and for researchers,…