"Children and Families in Poverty: Beyond the Statistics" : Hearing Before the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, House of Representatives, Ninety-ninth Congress, First Session, Hearing Held in Washington, DC, November 6, 1985

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Page 92 - ... Action" (the Moynihan report) . Because of the breakdown and deterioration that was said to characterize the lower class Negro family, the report suggested that a national effort was needed: The policy of the United States is to bring the Negro American to full and equal sharing in the responsibilities of citizenship. To this end, the programs of the Federal Government bearing on this objective shall be designed to have the effect, directly or indirectly, of enhancing the stability and resources...
Page 80 - In the ghetto, the meaning of the illegitimate child is not ultimate disgrace. There is not the demand for abortion or for surrender of the child that one finds in more privileged communities. In the middle class, the disgrace of illegitimacy is tied to personal and family aspirations. In lower-class families, on the other hand, the girl loses only some of her already limited options by having an illegitimate child; she is not going to make a "better marriage...
Page 81 - People show pride in all their kin, and particularly new babies born into their kinship networks. Mothers encourage sons to have babies, and even more important, men coax their 'old ladies' to have their baby
Page 62 - ... our forces and begin again at the beginning, in the preschool and elementary school, to educate our children for technological survival and maximum economic self-sufficiency," says Holman. He points out that the learning gap between black and white children widens in every year after kindergarden. By almost every measure, the roots of failure take hold long before thousands of minority youngsters have dropped out or have been pushed out of high school. Holman notes that society will pay an enormous...
Page 78 - ... by reference to the experience of black slavery. Although national information on family structure first became available only with the 1940 decennial census, examination of early manuscript census forms for individual cities and counties clearly demonstrates that most women heading families in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were widows; that even among the very poor, a substantial majority of the families were intact; and that, for the most part, the positive association between...
Page 80 - ... better marriage" or improve her economic and social status either way. On the contrary, a child is a symbol of the fact that she is a woman, and she may gain from having something of her own.
Page 82 - Redirection involved the use of "community women," older women who befriended and advised the teen mothers over the course of the first year of the study. It is noteworthy that these community women "... have come out strongly against emancipated minor status for participants (which allows 15 and 16 year old mothers to obtain public aid, including housing, independently of their parents), feeling that it is better that teens remain under family guidance, no matter how difficult the family situation...
Page 73 - For obvious reasons the incidence of poverty is substantially greater among female-headed households; the poverty rate of female-headed families was 36.3% in 1982, compared to a rate for married couple families of 7.6%. Female-headed families made up 45.7% of the poverty population in 1982, and 71% of the black poor (US Bureau of the Census, 1983). Young...
Page 81 - Harlem site of this project regarding the issue of welfare dependency led to the following observation: Staff initially took an activist stance in their efforts to intercede with the welfare system on behalf of participants... This pattern changed, however when ... (certain) behavior patterns were beginning to emerge ... It seemed that many were beginning to view getting their own welfare grants as the next stage in their careers... (I)t became apparent that some participants...
Page 86 - ... argument deserves the most serious attention. He charges that aspects of the conventional wisdom which has dominated thinking about public policy in the social sciences and allied helping professions since the sixties have contributed to the decline in living standards among inner-city blacks, one aspect of which is the growth of female-headed families. He holds that a complex and delicately balanced system of values and norms regulates the behavior of individuals in poor (and all other) communities,...

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