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NCJ Number: 136732 Find in a Library
Title: Serving the Urban Poor: A Study of Child Welfare Preventive Services
Journal: Child Welfare  Volume:71  Issue:3  Dated:(May/June 1992)  Pages:197-211
Author(s): D Fanshel; S J Finch; J F Grundy
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article summarizes a study of the Lower East Side Family Union (LESFU), a New York City agency founded in 1972 to provide services to prevent the placement of children in foster care.
Abstract: The study was an indepth examination of the nature of difficulties faced by a group of 160 client families in an area of urban blight. Data were collected from 1982 through 1984 for a sample 60 percent Hispanic, 18 percent Chinese, 14 percent black, and 8 percent white or mixed race. The 160 families had 386 children 18 years of age or younger. Since the mission of LESFU was to prevent the foster placement of children, adults were classified on the basis of their relationship to children in the client family. The most common family structure was that of a mother living alone with her children; only 25 percent of the cases had a mother and father living together. In total, 21 families experienced placement of one or more of their children by the time the case closed. An at-risk family reported that they encountered a relatively high number of stressful events during the past year. Parents considered to be at risk were quite antagonistic toward the idea of their children being placed in a foster home. Nonetheless, LESFU achieved an encouraging degree of success in helping families to resolve problems. Over 70 percent of clients with income problems, a need for resources or other help in parenting, child school problems, and adult behavior or mental health problems showed improvement. Older children had more problematic behaviors than younger children. Policy recommendations and research perspectives relevant to child welfare preventive services are discussed. 3 references and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Child welfare
Index Term(s): Children at risk; Foster homes; New York; Parent-Child Relations; Urban area studies
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