Formal and informal social norms

Formal and informal social norms about what is a “good parent”. In Fixing Families, Reich addresses the complex ways that the state regulates family life in the child welfare system. As we’ve discussed in class, there are some clear-cut cases where children should be removed from parental custody, but many more that rely upon subjective evaluations.

For this paper, identify how formal and informal social norms about what is a “good parent” shape the processes involved with child dependency and reunification. Use specific examples from the book to support your discussion of how CPS implicitly defines good parenting and the challenges that some parents face in meeting those expectations. You can also include relevant information from the Cohen reading. Finally, address how we might shift our social expectations of good parenting to “good enough” parenting so that biases play less of a role of determining whether or not children become involved in the child welfare system.

Formal and informal

The responsibilities of parents are probably too numerous to count. But amongthe many parenting responsibilities we can include such matters as having tothink about developmental milestones and trajectories and having to contem-plate appropriate and acceptable ways to help children reach these milestonesin a normative fashion and at a normative pace.

Parents must somehow translate their thoughts into action while at the same time ensuring that the relationships they are developing with their children are physically healthy and psychologically secure. For years, researchers have been studying parental thoughts, feelings,behaviors, and the relationships they form and maintain with their children.Much of this research has been focused directly on the parent.

In an effort to shed light on the culture of parenting and on parenting from a cultural and cross-cultural perspective, a group of internationally esteemed scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America was invited to share and exchange information at a workshop sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development. The three-day meeting took place at Seoul National University, South Korea, in June, 2003.

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