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What is Senator Clinton’s message in the book and why is it important?

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, It Takes a Village, is a primer on how to raise self-directed children who are able to rise up to the challenges of the modern world. The title of the book was culled from a well-known African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”, which means that it takes the concerted effort of a community to mold purposive and empowered individuals, able to contribute to the growth and development of society.

The title of the book makes clear that Senator Clinton’s book is not a child-rearing book for parents alone, but for schools, churches, civic group and other organizations that have the power to make a difference in a child’s life, especially during their growing up years. The book’s message is important because the complexities of modern life make child rearing perhaps one of the most difficult responsibilities for anyone to undertake. Modern family structures often have both parents working because economic concerns make it necessary for both parents to contribute to the household finances.

Because more and more children, often at very young ages, are left to the care of strangers, children grow up lacking guidance from parents. Moreover, as divorce and annulment figures continue to, more and more children and growing with a warped sense of family; their values are compromised and they become at risk of losing their way. We are growing a generation of people either with absentee or divorced parents. Clinton’s book is important because in a way, it eases the burden of responsibility for parents.

Of course while they still have the main duty of raising a child, the book underscores the importance of other social institutions that should step up to the plate and compensate for the shortcomings of the parents. The book is important because it emphasizes the role of society in the shaping of the character of its youth. 2. Give a specific example of how Senator Clinton seems to adhere (or does not) to the “bio-psycho-social” model of understanding behavior that is so important to the human services.

First, describe your understanding of the model, and then an example of how Clinton seems to apply it to a social problem. The bio-psycho-social model argues that an individual’s character is influenced by the physiological, social, and mental domains. This means that any behavior or actuations of an individual cannot be divorced from these three factors. In the same vein, the proper raising of a child must take into consideration all of these elements in order to create a society that advocates for child empowerment and self-actualization.

In simple terms, Senator Clinton’s bio-psycho-social model believes in the body-mind connection. In terms of learning, the mind is better prepared to accept new knowledge when the body is not distracted by other things such as hunger and illness. Children who are often restless or performing poorly at school often have some underlying physical or emotional problem, and have some issues with neglect and poverty. Senator Clinton believed that schools should keep this in mind and should create a learning environment that is cognizant of real world issues that children contend with on a daily basis.

Schools cannot exist in isolation from the problems of society, and by responding to this, only then can schools become the bastions of learning that they were meant to be. To such ends, the government must create and support programs that will make such learning environments possible. 3. In what ways does Clinton seem to feel that social policies in the U. S. have been misguided and not in the best interest of children and our society at large? Senator Clinton’s statement means that social policies have not been advocating the best interest of children and society simply means that most social policies tend to be shortsighted.

Her feelings may have stemmed from the fact that in spite of best efforts from the government, some sectors in society are bent on sowing discord. What is needed is a greater sense of community in order for federal programs to prosper and its true benefits can reach a greater number of people. I truly believe that there are really good social programs out there. There is no lack for good intentions; the problem is that some organizations, instead of working together for the collective group, end up fighting each other simply because of some differences in beliefs or ideologies.

When it comes to raising children, the bottom line should be their well-being and all the rest should take a backseat. Civic programs, as far as children are concerned, will have a better chance at succeeding if differences will be set aside and be united in their efforts to advocate for the child. Similar to parents fighting all the time, programs that conflict each other will only end up confusing the child and cause greater tension. What happens in the end is that no one wins, with the child ending up as the biggest loser. 4.

Describe in detail the ways in which you believe that Clinton’s approach models (or does not) the values of the human services including self determination, empowerment, cultural competence, and ethical delivery of social services. Use specific examples to back up your ideas. I believe that while Senator Clinton’s book makes good arguments against common issues such as education, divorce laws, drug use, etc. , she fails to come up with a solid proposition to address these issues. As such, it also fails short of creating a social reform agenda that emphasizes empowerment and self-determination.

Most of the issues of society are age-old problems that can never be perhaps totally eliminated. What is needed is a program that will equip children with strong foundations that will enable them to make informed choices for themselves. Most programs that exist today only give band-aid solutions, when what is really needed is a grass roots approach that will empower the child to make the best life choices for himself. For all the ideas that Senator Clinton posits, her general statement is that government programs are better that what civic groups can offer.

This is not empowerment because it creates the image of citizens dependent on governments instead of the other way around. An empowered and self-actualized citizenry should be able to create opportunities for themselves and not depend on outside help. And this is what government and civic organizations should work on. 5. What does “evidence based policy and practice” mean, and how does Clinton advocate (or not) for such an approach? Give specific examples. Evidence-based policy simply means that the programs and policies in place are the result of an exhaustive research, and driven by research findings.

However, the problem with this idea is that some researches can be presented in ways that are biased to support certain programs or group interests. Senator Clinton advocates for evidence based policy and practice, as most politicians do. The issue for us is to remain vigilant of such evidence and analyze whether the evidence points to reality or is being “spinned” in favor of current government programs. An example would be Senator Clinton’s support of institutionalized day care centers, sending children as young as two-years old to school, freeing the parents to work.

While this is in going with reality, are we really serving the best interests of the child? Research actually shows that children at this age not ready for the formal education system. (Brunner, 1980) In such case, there is no truth to evidence-based because the proposition runs counter to what research is saying. Instead of addressing the root of the problem, we are just reacting to the situation in the easiest way possible. Instead of empowering parents, this program makes parents dependent on state support. 6. What was your opinion about the book? How would you change social policies and programs in the U.

S.? While the premise of book is promising, I believe that it is a simple propaganda in support of government programs. There are no clear suggestions on how to create a child-centered society. There is even no mention of civic society’s involvement. Senator Clinton’s idea of a village in this case involves only the government and nothing else. Her blatant support of government initiatives runs against the original premise of the title of her book. While indeed it takes all of society to raise a child, the main goal should be to strengthen family structures and not weaken it further.

If I were to change social policies, I would create a centralized government department where civic organizations can come to and work together to create a unified program for the interest of our children. This department would serve to encourage civic society to work with government in order to advance the cause of our children. By empowering the village, only then can it properly raise a child.


Bruner, J (1980). Under Five in Britain. WileyBlackwell, Clinton, H. (1996). It Takes A Village. Simon & Schuster.

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