National Poverty Center
The University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center was established in the fall of 2002 as a university-based, nonpartisan research center. The Center conducts and promotes multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the causes and consequences of poverty and provides mentoring and training to young scholars. The website offers interesting facts about poverty, as well as links to other poverty research centers in America, most notably the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program at Harvard University and their Smart Library on Urban Poverty.
U.S. Census Bureau – Poverty
This site is a good starting point to learn about trends in poverty in the United States over the past 50 years.
National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)
The NCCP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization at Columbia University. Their mission is to identify and promote strategies that prevent child poverty in the United States and that improve the lives of low-income children and families. Look up your state in the state profiles section to find out how families in your state are doing economically.
The Development and History of the U.S. Poverty Thresholds
A summary history, prepared by Gordon Fisher, of the Department of Health and Human Services, detailing how the government developed its first official definition of poverty, and how that definition has persisted, in various forms, since 1965. Originally prepared by a Social Securities Administration researcher, the official figures, with a variety of flaws—some more serious than others—have been studied and tweaked dozens of times since.
Child Welfare League of America
The Child Welfare League of America is one the oldest child advocacy organizations in the U.S. Its website provides information on a variety of the issues introduced in “Love & Diane.”
Welfare Law Center
The Center works with and on behalf of low-income people to ensure that adequate income support — public funding provided on the basis of need — is available whenever and to the extent necessary to meet basic needs and foster healthy human and family development.
The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization. Their website provides research papers on vital national issues. You can research their publications by topic, including Welfare and Family Well-Being issues and Welfare / Welfare to Work issues.
Welfare / Welfare to Work
Welfare Reform Indicators
The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, provides an answer to the question “How will we know if welfare reform is successful?”
The Finance Project
The Finance Project (formerly the Welfare Information Network) is a clearinghouse for information about all aspects of welfare programs, at local, state and national levels.
The Future of Welfare: Where Do We Go From Here?
After the Clinton welfare reform of 1996, the Atlantic convened a panel to discuss the prospects of the new law.
Welfare-to-Work Has no Ill-Effects on Kids
New Scientist reports on a 2003 study about the after-effects on children of welfare-to-work programs.
Children’s Defense Fund
The CDF has been working for America’s children for over 30 years. Their website provides a lot of data about the realities that exist for children in modern-day America. Their 25 Key Facts About American Children includes statistics like 1 out of every 24 children does not live with his or her parents.
By creating beneficial and lasting change in child welfare systems, the people at Children’s Rights strive to promote and protect the right of children who are abused and neglected to grow up in permanent, loving families. Read their latest report — available for free online — entitled “Time Running Out: Teens in Foster Care.” The study is the first qualitative look at teens living in group and residential care in New York City.
Family Care or Foster Care?
Part of the Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism program, this study looks at state policy effects upon “kinship caregivers”, family members who take on parenting responsibilities.
Substance Abuse and Foster Care
Fact Sheet: Child Protection/Alcohol and Drug Partnership Legislation
Child Welfare League of America’s factsheet on the Child Protection/Alcohol and Drug Partnership Act of 2001. CWLA describes the impact of alcohol and drug abuse on children in the child welfare system—including foster children.
HHS’s National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect has a series of reports on the connection between parental substance abuse and child welfare.
New York City Administration for Children’s Services
New York City’s first agency devoted solely to serving children and their families.
Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights
Overview of legal grounds for termination of parental rights, with links to state information.
Article about a small Illinois community founded to provide stable and supportive foster care.
Is Fostering For You?
Article for people considering becoming foster parents from About.com guide, Carrie Craft. There are a number of helpful articles and links here, including “Fostering Connections: First Meeting Your Foster Child” and “Establishing Yourself as a Parent: Tips for Fostering an Older Child.”
Special site from PBS offers expert advice for parents on a variety of issues, including links to Mr. Rogers, The Whole Child and Frontline. Sign up for the PBS Parents email newsletter and keep track of upcoming PBS programs about parenting and children.
POV: Larry v. Lockney: Talking to Your Kids About Drugs
Read an excerpt from the book, “Just Say Know: Talking With Kids About Drugs and Alcohol” for tips on how to listen to teens and empower them to make the right decisions. Also available en español.
A team of professionals at the Girls and Boys Town National Resource and Training Center brings this helpful site to you. They specialize in training, consulting, and researching parenting practices that help parents deal with the day-to-day care taking, guidance, and child development.
Also on PBS and NPR
Interviews with Diane and Filmmaker Jennifer Dworkin
NPR: The Tavis Smiley Show — Love & Diane: Cycles of Addiction and Abandonment
NPR’s Tony Cox explores the vicious cycle of drugs and child abandonment — the painful subjects of the new documentary Love & Diane, shown on the PBS series POV (April 20, 2004)
PBS: The Charlie Rose Show — Jennifer Dworkin & Diane (Scroll down page to May 19th show and click “Listen”)
Filmmaker Jennifer Dworkin and former drug addict Diane Hazzard talk with Charlie Rose about Dworkin’s documentary “Love & Diane.” The film documents the life of Hazzard and her family over a five-year period as they experience emotional and financial challenges. (May 19, 2003)
There have been several recent PBS programs dealing with foster care, each with its own website. Each website includes additional background information and links to resources:
Online Newshour: Welfare Background Reports Index
Find past programs of the Newshour dealing with welfare, welfare reform and welfare-to-work programs listed here. Many stories offer the option of watching stories in streaming video. (Various)
FRONTLINE: “Failure to Protect”
The death of a five-year-old child in Maine leads the state to investigate its foster care system. Frontline also partnered with the Fred Friendly Seminars to hold a symposium to explore the complex and heartwrenching decisions made every day by workers and policymakers in the child welfare system. The panel is moderated by John Hockenberry. You can watch the entire video online. (February 2003)
NOW with Bill Moyers: The Last Hope
The number of kids in the foster care system has doubled in the last decade. Meet some of those kids in that troubled system and some valiant people doing their best to help them in NOW’s piece “The Last Hope” filmed at the residential treatment center of Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, New York. (July 26, 2002)
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly: Foster Care
Frequently, we hear in the news media of a child severely abused — sometimes killed by a parent with a history of neglect or worse. Often the question is asked: “Did the social welfare system fail its obligation to protect the child?”
(June 8, 2001)
Special Report: Profiles of Low-Wage America
In America, it is possible to work full time but not make a living. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20 million workers earn less than $9 an hour. At those wage levels, many people have trouble affording the basics — housing, food, clothing, transportation and health care.
In a year-long series of special reports, NPR’s Noah Adams travels throughout the country to profile the low-income workforce, talking with people about their jobs, their families and their hopes for the future. (2004)
Special Report: Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty
Forty years ago today in his first State of the Union speech, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War On Poverty.” Johnson’s declaration came just weeks after succeeding to the White House upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy. (January 8, 2004)
United States’ Troubled Foster Care System
After the most recent case of foster care abuse and neglect in New Jersey, NPR’s Madeleine Brand speaks with Carol Shauffer, executive director of the Youth Law Center, on the nation’s foster care problems. (Oct. 30, 2003)
Talk of the Nation: State and Youth: Part I – Orphanages
From Dickens to Annie, orphanages have had an ugly reputation. But some child advocates say orphanages can be a better choice than foster care or group homes. Join host Neal Conan and his guests to discuss what happens when a child’s home is a state-run institution. (July 30, 2003)
All Things Considered: A Scientific Approach to Child Custody
Every day, juvenile dependency courts across the country are filled with parents who have neglected, abused, abandoned or mistreated their children. To protect these children, the dependency court judge will often separate the child from the parent — sometimes temporarily with a relative or in foster care, and sometimes permanently, if the parent cannot take care of the child. In Florida, one judge has turned to science to help make these difficult custody decisions. (March 3, 2003)