Little work has been done to systematically analyze how
high-profile incidents of child neglect and abuse shape child
welfare policymaking in the United States. In Scandalous
Politics, Juliet Gainsborough presents quantitative analysis
of all fifty states and qualitative case studies of three states
(Florida, Colorado, and New Jersey) that reveal how well-publicized
child welfare scandals result in adoption of new legislation and
new administrative procedures.
Gainsborough's quantitative analysis suggests that child welfare
policymaking is frequently reactive, while the case studies provide
more detail about variations and the legislative process. For
example, the case studies illustrate how the nature and extent of
the policy response varies according to particular characteristics
of the political environment in the state and the administrative
structure of the child welfare system.
Scandalous Politics increases our understanding of the
politics of child welfare at both the state and federal level and
provides new insights into existing theories of agenda-setting and
the policy process. It will be of interest to everyone involved
with child welfare policymaking and especially public policy and
public administration scholars.
Subjects: Political Science
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