Conditions of Children in California
This issue of Education and Urban Society was devoted to the topic of integrated children's services. More specifically, most of the articles in the volume centered on school-linked services. The concept underlying school-linked services is a rather simple one: The school becomes the "hub," or focal point, of a broad range of child- and family-oriented social services. Schools do not assume primary responsibility for these additional services, but act as the organizational touchpoint to make services available, accessible, meaningful, and appropriate for children and their families.
The general topic of integrated children's services has come to occupy an increasingly prominent place on the political and public policy agenda. The reason seems relatively straightforward: "Report cards" for children and families, whether examined from national, state, or local perspectives, reveal a steady decline in the life situations for many of this nation's young people. Large numbers of American children have inadequate health care, never see a dentist, and are left to care for themselves for long hours while their parents are at work. Many others tangle with the juvenile justice system or come from abusive homes. Many of these problems are the direct result of poverty. Much of the most severe, and seemingly intractable, poverty is focused in the urban context.
This article was originally published in Education and Urban Society by SAGE Publications.