This book explores how dramatic changes in family welfare policies over the past decade have impacted the work, child care practices, and relationships of low-income mothers and fathers. Drawing upon several local, State, and national qualitative studies, the book explores how women and men are reading the policy signals, rules, and incentives as they attempt to raise their children and earn sufficient income to hold their families together. The text is divided into three themes centered around women’s roles as workers and mothers, policy effects on children, and the evolving role of fathers…
red dot iconJournal Article
Five focus groups substantially agreeed about the lack of paternal participation in child welfare services and the reasons for low paternal involvement. The groups had considerable disagreement about whether child welfare professionals should address this issue. Some caseworkers believed that all fathers and mothers should be treated identically with respect to services to be offered and time frames for services; other caseworkers thought that the special circumstances of some fathers, such as lack of child care experience, called for service approaches that differ from those for mothers.…
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 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 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.