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Abstracts from Volume 28, Number 1
(March, 2001)

DEFINING HUMAN SERVICES
Chaim Zins
This study aims at formulating adequate criteria for designing the field of human services. Based on a conceptual analysis of "human services" the study establishes the theoretical ground of a four category model for classifying human service organizations, and three alternative definitions of the field. The classificatory principle underlying the model and the definitions reflects the contribution of human services to overall societal well-being. I conclude the study by discussing the implications for social welfare policy planning, service design and evaluation, and shaping the nature of the helping professions.

SOCIAL WORK AND LABOR: A LOOK AT THE NORTH AMERICAN AGREEMENT ON LABOR COOPERATION
Constance Phelps
The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), a side agreement to NAFTA, provides an instructive example of an attempt to link global trade to labor standards. While this side agreement was created in order to bolster the internationalization of trade, it has brought Labor, human rights groups and governments together to scrutinize and challenge the ways that each NAFTA member country ensures the provision of basic health, safety, and human rights on the job. Effective enforcement of the Agreement will come only with political pressure from a wide variety of groups interested in improving quality of life for workers and their families. However, despite growing recognition of the importance of international social welfare efforts, social work groups have yet to become involved in monitoring the effect of trade on worker quality of life. This lack of involvement is reflective of social work's general estrangement from organized labor, despite many common goals. Increased cooperation between unions and social welfare groups would benefit their respective, and frequently shared, clientele.

CRIME RATES AND CONFIDENCE IN THE POLICE: AMERICA'S CHANGING ATTITUDES TOWARD CRIME AND POLICE, 1972-1999
Georgia Ackerman, Bobbie Anderson, Scott Jensen, Randy Ludwig, Darrel Montero, Nicole Plante, and Vince Yanez
This paper examines American national public opinion on crime and the American police force. The data were gathered from published opinion polls of national samples of adults taken from 1972-1999. The findings reveal that Americans have contradictory perceptions regarding crime in their area, crime in our nation, confidence in the police, and the honesty of the nation's police officers. A growing number of respondents report that crime seems to be decreasing; however, a majority of Americans still report that there is more crime in their area than there was a year ago. These are only a few examples of the complexity of American public opinion. Adding to this intricate web of American opinion and attitude is the issue of ethnicity. National polls indicate that most Americans are satisfied with police honesty and ethics. However, when we control for ethnicity, minorities rate the honesty and ethical standards of police officers much lower than do White Americans. Nevertheless, despite the widespread media reports of erosion in trust in the police, a solid majority of Americans consistently express confidence in and support of the police. These findings are discussed in light of the apparent contradiction of the actual crime rates and perceived crime rates.

THE EFFECTIVENESS AND ENFORCEMENT OF A TEEN CURFEW LAW
Richard D. Sutphen and Janet Ford
This article examines the effect of a teen curfew on juvenile arrest rates and reviews the first year of the curfew's implementation in a city of over 200,000 population. Juvenile arrest rates were compared for three years prior to the curfew's enactment and three years of curfew enforcement. Data related to 377 curfew violations and 83 parent citations issued in 22 police beats during the first year of implementation were analyzed to determine whether the curfew was primarily enforced in areas with serious juvenile crime or targeted low income, minority neighborhoods. Results indicate that the curfew had no effect on total juvenile arrests, felonies, misdemeanors, violent (serious) crimes or property crimes. More curfew violations were issued in areas with higher rates of juvenile arrests, higher levels of police presence, and lower family incomes. Parental citations were highest in areas with lower family income and greater proportions of African American populations.

THE INTERGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION OF GRANDMOTHER-GRANDCHILD CO-RESIDENCY
Richard K. Caputo
This study examined national data from two women's cohorts to determine the likelihood that Black grandmothers who resided with grandchildren were more likely than other grandmothers were to have daughters who resided with grandchildren. Of 1098 co-resident grandmothers, 390 (36%) were in the younger of the two cohorts, 603 (55%) were in the older, and 105 (9%) were in both, comprising the sub-sample of grandmother-grandchild mother-daughter pairs. A significantly higher proportion of mothers in the grandmother-grandchild mother-daughter pairs were Black (83%) compared to 37% of the mothers among the non-paired ever co-resident grandmothers. The study also found, by proxy, that the co-resident grandmother-grandchild mother-daughter pairs had lower socioeconomic standing than non-paired ever co-resident grandmothers.

THE TRANSFORMATION OF RUSSIAN SOCIAL POLICY IN THE TRANSITION TOWARD A MARKET ECONOMY
Isabel Pla Julian
The last few years have witnessed truly extraordinary events in the formerly communist societies. These countries were characterized by the great importance attached to social policy as opposed to market economy countries with a similar level of economic growth. However, the transition process toward a market economy has set new conditions for the functioning of governing levels and companies, which has affected social policies altogether. On the one hand, economic liberalization has brought about a reduction of the Russian Government's intervention in the economy, particularly in social policy. On the other hand, the privatization of the state company in a post-communist society would have implied a new way of economic management based on the principal of competition, in direct opposition to the nature of communist companies. Consequently, such a view of the reforms suggests a social policy of a lower magnitude. However, the difficulties of the transitions now underway in the countries that are emerging from communism (which is increasing claims for social protection) together with the deep-rooted nature of the social securities inherited from the communist period, is putting this new approach of a minimal social policy into question.

NEIGHBOR'S KNOWLEDGE AND REACTION TO SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE IN AN URBAN SETTING Gary Paquin, John Schafer and Adam C. Carle
Neighbors are seen as an important source of child abuse prevention and reporting. This article reports the result of a random telephone survey of a large mid-western city (n=513) which examined the extent to which respondents suspected their neighbors of physical child abuse. Data were also collected how respondents learned of such physical abuse, what their response to it was, and whether they noticed a difference in the frequency of the abuse after they did or did not respond. In this urban environment, relatively few knew of their neighbors' physical abuse, and those who did learned of the abuse by either seeing or hearing it occur. Most reported the abuse, many did nothing, but some intervened in the situation. Parents of minor children reacted differently than adults without children. The impact of neighbors' reactions on the future physical abuse of the child was mixed. Neighbors responses to abuse when they witness or hear it might be helpful in reducing immediate child injuries, but their long-term effects are unclear.

RESIDENTIAL MOBILITY AND YOUTH WELL-BEING: RESEARCH, POLICY, AND PRACTICE ISSUES Edward Scanlon and Kevin Devine
Despite an extensive body of sociological work suggesting that residential mobility reduces child well-being, the subject of relocation has been largely overlooked in social work and social welfare literature. Recent social policies threaten to increase the incidence of moving among low-income families in the United States. This paper reviews theoretical and empirical literature in this area and finds evidence that residential mobility reduces children's academic functioning, and may negatively affect other aspects of child well-being. These effects are especially strong for poor children from single parent families, making this issue of particular relevance for social work. The authors suggest implications for future research, propose policies to increase residential stability, and provide directions for social practice with mobile children.

THE FINANCIAL VULNERABILITY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: ASSESSING POVERTY RISKS Andrew I. Batavia and Richard L. Beaulaurier
The economic self-sufficiency and independence of people with disabilities depend largely on their capacity to maintain financial stability. As a group, such individuals have among the highest poverty rates, lowest educational levels, lowest average incomes, and highest out-of-pocket expenses of all population groups. Any substantial shock to the financial stability of people with disabilities can threaten their access to necessary housing, nutrition, medical care, and other resources, the absence of which may result in further vulnerability and possible poverty. This article offers a theoretical framework for understanding disability poverty risk. Empirical studies are needed to test this model, quantifying the specific risk factors and identifying coping mechanisms used by people with disabilities to reduce vulnerability. The results will have important implications at the individual, service provider, and policy levels.

BOOK REVIEWS
Social Security for the Excluded Majority. Wouter van Ginneken (Ed.).
Reviewed by Mizanur Miah, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Adolescents After Divorce. Christy M. Buchanan, Eleonor E. Maccoby and Sanford M. Dornbusch.
Reviewed by Dorinda Noble, Louisiana State University.

Independent Practice for the Mental Health Professional: Growing a Private Practice for the 21st Century. Ralph H. Earle and Dorothy J. Barnes.
Reviewed by Rafael Herrera, University of California at Berkeley.

Addictions and Native Americans. Lawrence Armand French.
Reviewed by Michael Gorman, San Jose State University.

Medicare Reform: Issues and Answers. Andrew J. Rettenmaier and Thomas R. Saving (Ed.s).
Reviewed by Deborah Schild Wilkinson, University of Michigan.

BOOK NOTES
Changing Politics of Canadian Social Policy. James R. Rice and Michael J. Prince.

Poverty and Social Assistance in Transition Countries. Jeanine Braithwaite, Christiaan Grootaert and Branko Milanovic.

What's Love Got to do With it?: A Critical Look at American Charity: David Wagner.

The Newer Deal: Social Work and Religion in Partnership. Raam A. Chaan with Robert J. Wineburg and Stephanie C. Boddie.

 

 

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