This collection of essays addresses twentieth-century historical and contemporary issues regarding children who are considered to be at risk. The essays explore the language of risk as it is used by the courts, the schools, governmental agencies, and child advocates, those who discover risks and create correctives for children who both need protection and threaten to disturb the social order. The tasks require an exploration of differing, often contradictory, concepts of the child and society that are embedded in public policy debates. Deepening the complexity of the problems, institutions to which we look for solutions are too often faced with conflicts that arise when the needs of the child are at variance with the needs of the institutions themselves. These dilemmas are central to understanding our failure to achieve adequate public policy solutions for children at risk.
Roberta Wollons is Visiting Professor at the Center for American Studies at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.
"This is an excellent example of sound multi-disciplinary research. It should be very useful for those in the fields of educational policy and history, sociology, political science, government planning, welfare reform, child development, juvenile justice, and family policy. " — Barbara Beatty, Wellesley College
"So much of what has been published on education for this population has been focused on curriculum and pedagogy. We have needed a good exploration of public policy issues, which is the precise emphasis of this book. It is crucial to situate the discussion in an historical context. " — Barry M. Franklin, Kennesaw State College