Kathryn Edin is a good resource on what poor families, broken or intact, actually do, like i, t or not. I read Promises I Can Keep some time ago, and she confirms the essential humanity that exists there. The irony is that I saw a lot of this as a child, but it was good to see actual evidence backing this up as still more common than not. (It also didn’t help that I left for college just as the crack epidemic hit, and that the more I heard, the more I avoided the old neighborhood and its residents.)
Here’s an article on Ms. Edin’s work….