This updated and expanded third edition examines the significant changes impacting children in our society and is a significant revision of the second edition, presented 10 years previous. During that period, there have been many important “firsts” in the United States: the first African-American president; the first attempt at a health care system that includes everyone; the first time for gay marriage sanctioned by the federal government; numerous firsts in medical care; a growing globalization; and the ongoing technology revolution changing lives from day to day. At the same time, however, there have been reactionary pulls that have halted progress in many critical areas such as income inequality, racism, poverty, violence, terrorist acts, and critical flaws in the educational and criminal justice systems that continue to have disastrous consequences for children. The chapters in the book discuss the cost in human terms of some of the missing opportunities for urban children and youth and illustrate the impact of social welfare policies on children, their families, and on the broader society. To better prepare social workers to meet some of the pressing needs to children, three completely new chapters have been added to this edition: “Beyond School and Community Violence: Providing Environments Where Children Thrive”; “Urban Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Children”; and “Substance Use by Urban Children.” In addition to sections on “Economic, Social, and Environmental Factors Impacting on Urban Children,” and “Familial Factors Impacting on Urban Children,” a new section, “Behavioral and Physical Health and Urban Children,” has been introduced. This new edition provides a significant resource for students and professionals in social work, family counseling, human services, psychology, and criminal justice. Most importantly, the various chapters in this text will help social workers and social work students recognize the nature of some of the current problems affecting children and come up with innovative solutions for the future.
Johnnie Hamilton-Mason and Jenna Halloran