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Children and Youth Services Review

Latino Child Welfare

Rosina Becerra, Guest Editor

University of California , Los Angeles


Children of Latino heritage are the fastest growing child population in the United States . They are also the largest subgroup of children living in families with incomes at or below the poverty line. Correlates of poverty such as child abuse and neglect, family dysfunction, and related problems are increasing the rates of Latino child out-of-home placement and need for child welfare services. At the same time, social policies that specifically affect the well-being of Latino children and families such as welfare reform, elimination of health care and food stamps to Latino immigrants, elimination of bilingual education, and English Only laws act to create a climate of discrimination and fear. All of these factors—economic, social, and political—adversely affect Latino families and their children. Yet, very little is known about Latino children in the child welfare system or the impact of factors, both micro and macro, that increase risk of their entering the child welfare system. This special issue will bring together empirical research, qualitative studies, and policy analyses that will add to our knowledge about Latino children at-risk for child welfare services. Manuscripts should be sent to Rosina M. Becerra, School of Public Policy & Social Research, 3250 Public Policy Bldg, University of California , Los Angeles , CA. 90095-1656.


The Impact of Welfare Reform on Children

  Sacha Klein Martin, Guest Editor

University of California , Los Angeles


The focus of this special issue is the impact of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act [PRWORA] of 1996, popularly known as ‘welfare reform,’ on the physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being of children. Particular attention will be given to the impact of welfare reform on children and families involved with the public child welfare system. Many child welfare experts have decried recent welfare reforms, such as mandatory work requirements, time limits, and financial sanctions, because they believe that these reforms will result in increased levels of poverty and related hardship for some families, including increased rates of child maltreatment. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, children from families earning less than $15,000 a year are 45 times more likely to be victims of substantiated child neglect than children from families earning $30,000 a year or more. Children in these poorer families are 16 times more likely to be victims of physical abuse, and they are also 17.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. Until recently, concerns about the impact of welfare reform on children’s safety and well-being remained largely speculative because it was simply too early to tell how families were being impacted by the policy. Now, five and a half years after the passage of PRWORA, these concerns can begin to be tested empirically. Has welfare reform resulted in a sudden rise in child abuse and an influx of children into out-of-home placements? Are the children of parents on welfare suffering emotionally or academically as their parent(s) is/are forced to work to continue receiving welfare benefits? How has welfare reform had a positive impact on the well-being of children?


This special issue of Children and Youth Services Review is an important opportunity for researchers interested in the relationship between poverty, public assistance, and child well-being, and/or the relationship between the welfare and the public child welfare systems, to contribute to the knowledge base on these topics. Empirical research, qualitative studies and policy analyses addressing a spectrum of related issues will be considered for publication. Potential topics include 1) the effects of sanctions and other welfare reforms on rates of child maltreatment and foster care, 2) the experiences of ‘dual system’ families involved in both the welfare and child welfare systems, 3) the impact of work requirements on the well-being of children of single mothers on welfare, and 4) changing modes of collaboration between child protective service and welfare agencies following the implementation of PRWORA.  Four copies of manuscripts should be sent to Sacha Klein Martin, School of Public Policy and Social Research, 3250 Public Policy Building , University of California , Los Angeles , CA 90095-1656 .  Informal inquiries may be sent via e-mail to Sacha Klein Martin (smklein@ucla.edu).

The Role of Law Enforcement in Child Protection

Richard J. Gelles and Ira Schwartz, Guest Editors

University of Pennsylvania


Research on Services to Preserve Maltreating Families

Marlys M. Staudt and Brett Drake , Guest Editors

Washington University