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As a result, these groundbreaking programs never made a dent on the national or statewide level. Lisbeth Schorr has spent the past seven years researching and identifying large-scale programs across the country that are promising to reduce, on a community- or citywide level, child abuse, school failure, teenage pregnancy, and welfare dependence.

From reformed social service agencies in Missouri, Michigan, and Los Angeles to "idiosyncratic" public schools in New York City, she shows how private and public bureaucracies are successfully nurturing programs that are flexible and responsive to the community, that have set clear, long-term goals, and that permit staff to exercise individual judgment in helping the disadvantaged. She shows how what works in small-scale pilot social programs can be adapted on a large scale to transform whole inner-city neighborhoods and reshape America. On the heels of the federal government's dismantling of welfare guarantees, Common Purpose offers a welcome antidote to our current sense of national despair, and concrete proof that America's social institutions can be made to work to assure that all the nation's children develop the tools to share in the American dream.

Bachelor with highest honors, University California, Berkeley, Doctor of Humane Letters honorary , Wilkes University, Doctor of Humane Letters honorary , University Maryland, Doctor of Humane Letters honorary , Bank St. College Education, Doctor of Humane Letters honorary , Wheelock College, Doctor of Humane Letters honorary , Whittier College, Medical care consultant U. Consultant Children's Defense Fund, Washington, — Lecturer social medicine Harvard University Medical School, since Director project on effective interventions, — Founder www.

Working with parents extras: The Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities approach

Senior fellow Center for Study Society Policy, National council Alan Gutmacher Institute, —, — Public member American Board Pediatrics, — Vice chairman Foundation for Child Development, —, board directors, —, — This was wise. They had to be literally stopped. The Third Wave didn't abolish bureaucracies, but made them smarter like dumping welfare checks and using noncash assistance and social services supporting work activity instead.

But then in the Obama administration issued a bureaucratic order allowing states to waive those requirements. The welfare reform law had been gutted by a guy hot to give money to minorities with no work ethic—not that he'd ever admit it.

If this is allowed to stand, it will mean rewinding years of progress that lifted millions out of poverty. We need Third Wave organizations that are wise enough in the systems thinking and ecological analysis areas that they realize that they need to empower community and family functioning, not replace it. They need to locate strengths in a system, get these working to cure the system problems, and then go away and let them be.

They must continually convince people how needed they are. They want to help people, but even more than that they want their agencies to grow, to get raises, and to provide for their personnel. So they always see more problems that they need to fix. They perceive the entire society as a bunch of incompetents in need of their expertise.

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And this is good for neither the professional who begins to feel elitist nor the community that gets dependent, needful, less mature, less resourceful, and loses self-esteem and identity both collectively and individually. This, then, is what her book fails to factor in adequately.


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Intentions notwithstanding, these professionals have truly become as much of the problem as they are the solution.