In 2005, 1.2 million children in Canada were living below the poverty level. This represents a 20 percent increase since 1989, the year that the federal government unanimously passed a resolution to eliminate child poverty by 2000. To understand the state of children's welfare, Child Poverty and the Canadian Welfare State reviews Canadian social policy reform, and discovers that the welfare of poor children is a casualty of the war on the welfare state launched by opposing political ideologies. This study surveys the shift from entitlement to charity from the perspective of social policy reform.
"The book follows the intellectual history of the welfare state from its modern conceptual beginnings in Rousseau, Smith, Marx and Bentham through its wartime distillations in the works of Lord Beveridge and Leonard Marsh. It rests in the post-centennial struggles between the noble proponents of the welfare state and its market-obsessed enemies. Ismael does pull one rabbit out of the hat by ingeniously charting the ideological perspectives of liberal individualism, ethical liberalism and social democratic liberalism as they relate to the nature of society, human nature and the nature of child poverty. She helpfully circles back later to chart the same axes but with particular attention to welfare benefits." John Stapleton, Literary Review of Canada, April 2007
"This is an interesting book for anyone interested in social policy and the discourses that justify and support policy decisions. Focused on early childhood, Child Poverty and the Canadian Welfare State is also of interest to advocates for early childhood with her examination of the complex relationship between the social problem of child poverty and federal and provincial social policies." Enid Elliot, Policy and Practice in Education, Vol. 13, Nos 1,2, 2007