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Book Review   |    
Making Child Welfare Work: How the R.C. Lawsuit Forged New Partnerships to Protect Children and Sustain Families
Psychiatric Services 1998; doi:
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Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Washington, D.C., May 1998, 126 pages, $16.50

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This book from the Bazelon Center tells how the 1991 settlement of a class-action lawsuit in Alabama, R.C. v. Hornsby, produced "bottom-up" reform of the state's child welfare system. The lawsuit was brought by the Bazelon Center to challenge the practice, common in Alabama and many other states, of placing children who were in foster care and had emotional or behavioral problems into institutions, often far from home, where they remained for months or years, losing touch with their families. County-by-county implementation of the settlement brought most of the children safely home, some to their parents and others to adoption, according to the center. Appendixes contain technical details of the reform, including the 29 principles that define the new system, definitions of the new services that county child welfare offices have developed, and policies for contact between children in foster care and their parents. The book is available for $16.50, including shipping, from the center's publications desk, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 1212, Washington, D.C. 20005, or by authorizing a charge by fax to 202-223-0409.

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