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Shirl is a single mother who urges her son's baby-sitter to swat him when he misbehaves. Helena went back to work to get off welfare, then quit to be with her small daughter. Kathy was making good money but got into cocaine and had to give up her two-year-old son during her rehabilitation. Pundits, politicians, and social critics have plenty to say about such women and their behaviour. In this book we hear what these women have to say for themselves. It is an account from the front lines of poverty, which offers a firsthand look at how single mothers with the slimmest of resources manage from day-to-day. We witness their struggles to balance work and motherhood and watch as they negotiate a bewildering maze of child-care and social agencies. For three years the authors followed the lives of 14 women from poor Boston neighbourhoods, all of whom had young children and had been receiving welfare intermittently. We learn how these women keep their families on firm footing and try, frequently in vain, to gain ground. We hear how they find childcare and what they expect from it, as well as what the childcare providers have to say about serving low-income families. Holloway and Fuller view these lives in the context of family policy issues touching on the disintegration of inner cities, welfare reform, early childhood and pro-choice poverty programmes.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674001800
ISBN-10: 067400180X
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 20mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Susan Holloway

Susan Holloway is Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Bruce Fuller is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Marylee F. Rambaud is an independent scholar currently serving as a private consultant in girls' and women's development. Costanza Eggers-Pierola is an independent scholar currently serving as a private consultant in girls' and women's development.