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Fixing Families : Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System - Jennifer A. Reich

Fixing Families

Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System

Hardcover Published: 27th July 2005
ISBN: 9780415947268
Number Of Pages: 368

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The ways children's rights are handled by the state remain a highly controversial and frequently criticized topic of national interest, yet little is known about the actual operations of the Child Welfare System. In "Fixing Families," Jennifer Reich takes us inside Child Protective Services for an in-depth look at the entire organization. Following families from the beginning of a case to its discharge, Reich shows how parents negotiate with the state for custody of their children, and how being held accountable to the state affects a family. During her investigation Reich had access to many levels of CPS action, and within each chapter are heartbreaking stories culled from her many ride-alongs with social workers, and the numerous juvenile court cases that she was able to observe--stories that illustrate the dramatic personal effects of bureaucratic decisions.

Introductionp. 1
Intervening in Failing Familiesp. 11
Intersections of the State and Familyp. 14
The Therapeutic Statep. 18
Overview of the Systemp. 22
"We work for the government. We're here to help."p. 22
"Juvenile Justice"p. 23
The Countyp. 26
Representing "Bad" Parentsp. 29
Overview of the Bookp. 34
Child Protection In A Historical Perspectivep. 41
The Progressive Era: New Responses to New Social Problemsp. 42
Professionalization of Childsavingp. 48
Creating Public Welfarep. 50
1920's-1960's: "Battered Child Syndrome" and the First Federal Response to Child Abusep. 54
1970's: Rising Caseloads and Calls for Reformp. 57
Constructing the "Best Interests"p. 58
Opposition to Transracial Adoptionp. 60
1980's: Refocusing on Reunification in the Face of New Challengesp. 63
The Crack Crisis in Child Welfarep. 64
1990's: Attempts to Address System Failuresp. 70
Color-Blind Child Welfare Policyp. 71
Rising Attention to System Failuresp. 73
Adoption Reformp. 75
Understanding the Child Welfare Pendulump. 78
The Hated Do-Gooders: Social Work In Contextp. 88
Preludep. 88
Social Work as Thanklessp. 92
Social Work as Dangerousp. 99
Social Work as Stressfulp. 105
Expected Parental Behavior: Theorizing Subordination And Deference In Investigationsp. 113
Preludep. 113
Reporters of Suspected Abuse of Neglectp. 117
Talking (with) Childrenp. 121
Assessing Risk Through Zero-Tolerance for Drugsp. 124
Evaluating the Homep. 132
Expectations of Deferencep. 135
Dana Brooksp. 138
Jamila Washingtonp. 142
Similar Circumstances, Different Outcomesp. 146
Candace Williams-Taylorp. 152
Moving Through the Systemp. 161
Reforming Parents, Reunifying Familiesp. 169
Preludep. 169
The Context and Content of Servicesp. 172
The Relative Right to Servicesp. 174
The Controversial Systemp. 179
The Experience of Reunification Servicesp. 182
"Time Is Moving": Deference to the Process As Soon As Possiblep. 182
Material Obstacles to Reunificationp. 186
The Time Bind of Servicesp. 187
Housing and Public Assistancep. 192
Childcarep. 195
Services and Surveillancep. 199
Managing State Power: Parental Strategiesp. 202
Parents' Strategies: Resistance and Accommodationp. 202
Robert Davisp. 206
Richie Lyonsp. 210
Linda Durrantp. 213
Activist Parenting and Counter-Productivityp. 216
Conclusion: Realizing System Goals: Means and Endsp. 220
Court-Ordered Empowerment And The Reformation Of Mothers In Cpsp. 229
Preludep. 229
The Bad Mother in Public Imagination and Institutionsp. 233
Resocializing Bad Mothersp. 236
Contexualizing Maternal Salvationp. 242
Performing Empowermentp. 247
Court-Ordered Empowerment: Success Storiesp. 251
Sexual Mothers: Reunification Failuresp. 255
Making Sense of the Empowerment Performancep. 262
Biology And Conformity: Expectations Of Fathersp. 270
Preludep. 270
Becoming a CPS Fatherp. 275
Men's Relative Right to Servicesp. 280
Legal Constructions of Fatherhoodp. 283
Encouraging Absentee Fatherhoodp. 286
Working to Reunifyp. 288
Employment versus Compliancep. 290
Proving the Capacity to Parentp. 295
Bad Men as Good Fathers?p. 301
Resocializing Bad Menp. 308
Beyond Reunification: When Families Cannot Be Fixedp. 315
Preludep. 315
Beyond Reunificationp. 317
Time Runs Outp. 318
Demonstrable Rehabilitationp. 322
Compliancep. 323
Meaningful Changep. 327
Accepting Responsibilityp. 331
Developing a "Permanent Plan"p. 337
When Adoption is Inappropriatep. 338
Identifying Unbreakable Bondsp. 342
Defining Adoptabilityp. 347
After the Case Endsp. 353
Court Orders Beyond the Courthousep. 356
Conclusionp. 359
Conclusionp. 365
Good Intentions, Poor Outcomesp. 372
CPS and the Anti-Parent Culturep. 378
Addressing System Failuresp. 381
Social Work Workloadp. 382
Giving Voice to Parental Angerp. 382
Access to Advocacyp. 383
Relevant Servi
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415947268
ISBN-10: 041594726X
Series: Perspectives on Gender
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 27th July 2005
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.68
Edition Number: 1