Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (AACWA) (P.L. 96-272) was the first federal legislation that provided for family preservation services.

This study reviews the antecedent period between 1860 and 1980 to examine the policy trends in child welfare legislation and programs. DiNitto's (1983) incremental policy process is examined to show the evolution of how the issue of family preservation services became the focus of the federal government through the AACWA.

The dual philosophies of child rescue and services to the child and family are examined through the review of selected past legislation and programs. The reader is shown that the response to child welfare needs also changed over time.


SC 11.MSW.1997.Dooley.DE

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