ERIC Number: ED337248
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct-25
Reference Count: N/A
Child Development and the Cycle of Poverty.
Harris, Irving B.
The incidence of child abuse, child neglect, parental drug abuse, and other child-related problems is increasing rapidly. More children are coming to school at risk of failure. What can be done to prevent the cycle of poverty and poor education that results? Head Start is a good program, but even Head Start cannot help a third of its participants: the ones who arrive with disadvantages that are already too great. The Ounce of Prevention Program in the Chicago, Illinois area works with Head Start to help these children. The program prevents a certain degree of dysfunction by working with mothers as soon as possible after children are born. It is hard to fund the program, but the state and local businesses help, once they realize how cost-effective it is to raise healthy children. Ounce of Prevention programs try to keep teenage girls in school after they have babies; teach parenting skills to young parents; and staff medical clinics. Longitudinal studies show that Ounce of Prevention programs are working. But Head Start remains underfunded, and it is hard to give hope to the poorest of the poor, many of whom are the youngest parents. Changing the course of society's decline will require a massive change in direction in public policies relating to prevention. (SAK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ounce of Prevention Fund.
Identifiers: Ounce of Prevention Program; Project Head Start
Note: Keynote Address to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (October 25, 1990).