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1997 July - August

A Community-Based Response to Welfare Reform

By Tanya Neiman

The repercussions of welfare reform are starting to become apparent, and the ripple effects promise to hurt the young and old, citizens and noncitizens alike. This column describes how San Francisco's Volunteer Legal Services Program, by mobilizing and aligning itself with other state players with whom it was sometimes at odds, has met many of the challenges states currently face from cuts in federal assistance.

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State-Level Noncitizen Welfare Policies

Issues for Advocates

By Rob Paral

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 dramatically affects noncitizens' eligibility for public benefits. The Act also gives state governments vast new responsibility for their noncitizen population. This article discusses issues relating to the development of state policies on noncitizens and welfare.

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Binding Arbitration and the Problem of Protecting the Survivor of Domestic Abuse

By Anne Argiroff

As alternative dispute resolution has grown as a means to settle domestic relations disputes, serious concerns have begun to emerge concerning its use in cases that involve violence. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of arbitrating cases with complicated issues of power and control and concludes that the court system, with all its flaws, is best equipped to protect the victims of domestic violence.

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Oberti v Board of Education

A Rational View

By Brooke R. Whitted & Shelley Davis

Despite the court's castigation of the evils of "segregated" placements for children with disabilities, a closer reading of the district court and the Third Circuit's decisions in Oberti v. Board of Education reveals that they do not constitute a radical departure in the law. Rather, the Oberti opinions reflect the courts' continuing insistence that school districts try a variety of less restrictive alternatives before they place children in specialized settings.

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Medicaid: A Key to Health Care for Foster Children and Adopted Children with Special Needs

By Abigail English & Madelyn DeWoody Freundlich

Medicaid has played a critical role in ensuring health care coverage for foster children and adopted children with special needs, but currently no federal law guarantees that comprehensive coverage for these children will be maintained. This article explains the historic role Medicaid has played in providing essential benefits, the ways in which these children are currently covered, and how coverage may be affected by the new federal welfare law and other policies as they develop. It also presents options that would help guarantee future coverage.

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