social services

  • Why Does US Policy Make Things Hard on Parents?

    For decades, the political idea that social services aimed at supporting parents and children constitute a governmental intrusion on the family has been used to thwart the kinds of supports that parents and children in the rest of the industrial world enjoy. 

  • Union Organizing in the Long Shadow of the Gilded Age

    by Daisy Pitkin

    On listening to Andrew Carnegie's "The Gospel of Wealth" in Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library as librarians perform the kind of social services Carnegie deplored (and try to organize a union, which he deplored more). 

  • Dorothy Roberts on the Punitive Logic of the Child Welfare System

    Legal scholar Dorothy Roberts's new book argues that the child welfare system has historical roots in campaigns of oppression against Black and Native Americans; combined with the financial incentives of privatized social services, the system encourages abuse and exploitation today.

  • Traumatic Monologues: The Therapeutic Turn in Indigenous Politics

    by Melanie K. Yazzie

    American and Canadian politicians are happy to promote initiatives based in psychological understandings that "trauma" is the principal source of Native disadvantage, while ignoring the ongoing colonial exploitation of indigenous lands by the oil and gas industries.

  • The U.S. has Never Tried a Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Care

    by Hannah Zeavin

    "The United States has never redressed a massive shortage of mental health-care providers, and no unified national infrastructure is in place to assist the most vulnerable would-be patients with navigating the difficult process of finding competent care and paying for it."

  • Child Welfare Systems Have Long Harmed Black Children Like Ma’Khia Bryant

    by Crystal Webster

    Although the death of Ma’Khia Bryant has been discussed as yet another example of police violence against Black Americans, it's important to recognize that she was also a victim of a child and family services bureaucracy that has been shaped by racism and left Black children to fend for themselves.

  • A Forgotten Campaign To Support ‘Displaced Homemakers’ May Help Women Today

    by Suzanne Kahn

    A 1970s initiative by feminist Tish Sommers for legislation to help women who had worked at home as caregivers to more easily reenter the paid workforce. Her preferred term "displaced homemaker" emphasized the economic importance of domestic care work most often performed by women and women's vulnerability to economic disruption and provides a useful way to think about solutions to the problems caused by COVID today.

  • Why Are Child Care Programs Open When Schools Are Not?

    Drs. Robert Pianta and Myra Jones-Taylor expressed hope that parents’ pandemic experiences of working while juggling care and education will lead to a newfound appreciation for both elements, and the modern economy’s reliance on them.

  • What to do about COVID? Start by Listening to People

    by Rachel F. Seidman

    An oral historian of medical care in the South observes that the current crisis shows weaknesses in the fabric of society that would have long been obvious to policymakers if they were more inclined to listen to ordinary people. 

  • Prayer Will Not Stop the Coronavirus

    by The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

    America is not in trouble because people are not praying; we face an exacerbated public health crisis because this administration has spent more time preying on the most vulnerable than lifting all people.