For this paper I will be discussing the background of family preservation. It’s definition and background information on how and why it started, factors influencing the development, cost effectiveness, cultural issues, and the role that the social worker plays in family preservation. Definition
Family preservation services are short-term, family-focused services designed to assist families in crisis by improving parenting and family functioning while keeping children safe. Family preservation services grew out of the recognition that children need a safe and stable family and that separating children from their families is traumatic for them, often leaving lasting negative effects. These services build upon the ideas that many children can be safely protected and treated within their own homes when parents are provided with services and support that empower them to change their lives. History
The support of family preservation can be traced back to the negative reaction to the 'orphan train movement'. After the 1851 passage of the Massachusetts Adoption Act, children were shifted from institutions to adoptive families. Reverend Charles Loring Brace, the founder of the Children's Aid Society, was responsible for this movement. He saw children as a threat to social order, who needed to be removed from their poverty stricken parents as poverty restricts moral family values. In March 1884, he loaded a train with 138 children who were affected by poverty and sent them west. These children, half who were not orphans, stood on the platform at each stop waiting to be claimed or sent to the next stop. His methods were replicated and the total number of children affected was estimated from 150,000 to 250,000. The outrage against this practice caused many people to take an alternative method to the extreme, and this set the stage for the progressive era. Two early reformers setting the stage for family preservation were Lillian Wald and Florence Kelley. Florence Kelley gave a series of lectures at various universities proposing a United States Commission for Children. This Commission would research and share information in regards to the mental and moral conditions, as well as the prospects of children of the Nation. She included seven major subjects requiring prompt attention including infant mortality, birth registration, orphanage, child labor, desertion, illegitimacy and degeneracy. In 1903, Lillian Wald suggested the creation of a Federal Children's Bureau to Florence Kelley. She argued that there was no reason the government could not have a department to look after children if it could have one to look after farm crops. Target Population
The target population for families that are in family preservation programs are families considered to be “broken homes”. Individuals such as children and parents in an abusive house hold. Children who live in a home when a substance is being abused. Children who may live in a home who are basically taking care of themselves because the parent(s) are never there because of work or other reasons. The target population can be so many different types of families and situations, and it isn’t subjective to one race or culture, family preservation has no skin color attached to it. Factors Influencing the Development
When family preservation first got its start, it was because of President William Taft and the bill he signed that created the Children’s Bureau. President William Howard Taft signed into law the bill that created the Children's Bureau in 1912. Julia Lathrop was appointed as the first chief and headed a 16 person organization with an initial budget of $25,640. Throughout their nine-year struggle Wald and Florence received support from many prominent people, including President Theodore Roosevelt. They would be credited for spreading these ideas and giving them a far-reaching impact. This impact helped issues of child welfare gain recognition on the state level...
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