ERIC Number: ED481902
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Making the Case for Family Support: An Essay with Supporting Documents.
Family Support America, Chicago, IL.
Noting the potential of family support as an effective agent for change, this essay explores family support as community-based services to promote the well-being of children and families designed to increase the strength and stability of families, to increase parents' confidence and competence in their parenting abilities, to afford children a stable and supportive family environment, and to enhance child development. The essay is organized in three sections. Section 1 describes family support as a time-honored, research-validated way of caring for children, noting that although several factors have contributed to increasing isolation among families and diminished ability to support one another, research has confirmed that supportive networks contribute significantly to parents' ability to raise their children. Section 2 highlights family support and family resource programs as part of a national grassroots movement of community-based programs. This section notes that family support has increasingly been adapted to the needs of families in culturally diverse and in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and is making a positive differences in the lives of thousands of families by providing direct services to families that empower and strengthen adults in their roles as parents, nurturers, and providers. Section 3 of the essay asserts that a family support approach to the current welfare system would offer families the types of support they need to become economically self-sufficient, safe, and healthy, thereby helping to build an effective, economical social services system. The essay concludes with a delineation of the positive impact of family support in areas such as teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, children's behavior and school performance, child abuse/neglect, and movement of parents from welfare to work. Eleven appendices include premises and principles of family support, typical components of family support programs, and questions-answers about family support programs and their evaluation. (Contains 27 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Change Agents, Change Strategies, Child Welfare, Children, Community Programs, Delivery Systems, Family Needs, Family Problems, Family Programs, Family Support, Parent Education, Social Services
Family Support America, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60606. Tel: 312-338-0900; Fax: 312-338-1522; Web site: http://www.familysupportamerica.org.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ.
Authoring Institution: Family Support America, Chicago, IL.