From Pariahs to Partners: How Parents and Their Allies Changed New York Citys Child Welfare System

Hardcover | June 18, 2013

byDavid Tobis

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At the end of the 20th century, New York City had one of the worst child welfare systems in the United States: 50,000 children were in foster care, corruption was rife, parents had no voice, and the services designed to protect children were more often harming rather than helping them. From Pariahs to Partners tells for the first time the inspiring story of the parents and their allies - child welfare commissioners, social workers, lawyers, and foundation officers - who joined together to change the system. David Tobis situates this remarkable success within the larger history ofchild services in the U.S., a roller coaster of alternating crisis and reform that failed to produce lasting change. But the major focus of the book is on individual parents - most of them women, many of them black or Latina, and all of them poor - who came back from the "other side" of domesticviolence, drug addiction, homelessness, and poverty to fight for their rights and their children. Many of these parents recognized their own role in the wrenching experience of losing custody of their children. They entered drug treatment programs, underwent intensive counseling, left abusiverelationships, got jobs, filed lawsuits, and were reunited with their sons and daughters. Some took the next step and trained to become parent organizers. Tobis shows how their efforts increased benefits for families and reduced the number of children in foster care in New York City to 15,000 in2011. David Tobis was a central figure in the child welfare reform movement, and From Pariahs to Partners draws on his own personal experience, as well detailed case examples from parent advocates, to tell a rare story of the triumph of individual and collective activism over bureaucratic inertia andineptitude.

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At the end of the 20th century, New York City had one of the worst child welfare systems in the United States: 50,000 children were in foster care, corruption was rife, parents had no voice, and the services designed to protect children were more often harming rather than helping them. From Pariahs to Partners tells for the first time ...

David Tobis is the Executive Director of the Fund for Social Change. For more than three decades he has worked to reform child welfare in New York and the United States. Beginning in 1991 he worked as a consultant to UNICEF and the World Bank to prevent children, the disabled and the elderly from being placed in long-term residential ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:June 18, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195099885

ISBN - 13:9780195099881

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Table of Contents

1. The New York System2. Parents Whose Children were Placed into Foster Care3. Parents Change4. Tilling the Soil: The Groundwork for Parent Activism5. Parents Find Their Voice6. Other New York City Parent Organizations7. Parent Participation Across the Country8. What Improved, What Hasn't and What's Beginning to Slip9. Causes and ConclusionsEpilogue: Parent Updates