Cultural Perspectves on Child Welfare


The 1970’s saw the emergence of new research and new rhetoric concerning the family structures of people of color. Alongside traditional dogma that the nuclear family is the preferred structure, the viability of the extended family among poor people became accepted doctrine. Research provided new perspectives on the resilience of kinship networks, giving credence to rhetoric which touted the strengths of families and to the argument that policies should support family independence, rather than render families ever more dependent on public programs. However, class and cultural issues remained muddled, new data on kinship networks and psychological parenthood within extended families created new dilemmas for practice, and child welfare advocates were torn between the best interests of children and the integrity of parenthood.

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