ERIC Number: ED223312
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Keeping Families Together: A "New" Philosophy.
Virginia State Div. for Children, Richmond.
As a result of the impact of economic industrialization on the U.S. economy, the extended family in the United States has fragmented; nuclear families have lost contact with sources of parenting information and, increasingly, when parenting problems have occurred, the assistance of social service agencies has been requested. The lack of parenting skills and the inability to cope with acutely stressful situations, frequently combined with economic distress, often cause modern families to be disrupted and children to be placed in foster care. The use of foster care services may at first glance appear to be less expensive than the employment of home-based services. However, accurate comparisons are difficult to make because interventions made in the two approaches are not equivalent. Generally, home-based services are more desirable than foster care alternatives because they treat the root causes of family problems (such as lack of parenting skills) and minimize disruption of children's lives. Whenever possible, children needing assistance should be placed with relatives rather than in a foster home in order to maintain stability and continuity. Some local social service agencies in Virginia have recognized the human and financial savings resulting from providing services to families prior to family break-up. It is apparent, however, that before preventive home-based family services can be adequately provided, several barriers must be overcome. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Virginia State Div. for Children, Richmond.