Child Welfare in the 21st Century

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  • August 2012
    M T W T F S S
    « Jul   Sep »

What’s a ‘sane’ person to do?

Posted by lboyd544 on August 13, 2012

We now have the full slates of Presidential running teams for the November election. Whether you have made your choice yet or not, there are a couple of concerns I want to share….more emotional, than suggestive of how to fix.

I am frustrated by the money-in-politics. I speak from many angles of experience: as a statewide candidate, as an elected official, as a political activist. My times of elected service and candidacy spanned 10-20 years ago. Thank, Goodness! Money was important then, mind you. Money is obscenely important now. I am tempted to protest by not giving to any candidates, other than local candidates or those whom I otherwise know personally. Then it occurs to me that if I do that, regardless of ‘pittance’ I am able to give, does that not simply allow big business, private PACs, and large organizations to continue their monolithic control of our election process?

Comment #2: regardless of whom we elect/re-elect, all Americans are concerned about our country’s debt and about how/what/where do we get it under some sort of control for the future. If cutting spending were only enough of an answer! That might actually be a relief!

However, long-term, if we cut spending that impacts health, education, safety of kids (which also means cutting the ability of parents to provide housing, safety, food, medical care for their families), we have ‘saved’ now, but what have we created for our future? More of a have-and-have-not society? Citizens without knowledge of how to participate in and benefit from the “American Dream”? Obese, ill, uneducated citizenry that creates a perpetual drag on the remainder of society, which will also be caring for a huge number of older citizens?  Yes, I worry.

I often write of child welfare matters, food insecurity, and Medicaid. I want to share another angle on disparity. According to research done by Dr.Joanne Wood, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,”The rate of child abuse in the United States has increased as rates of mortgage delinquency and foreclosure have increase. Between 2000 and 2009, the rate of child abuse requiring hospital admission increased by 3% per year and the rate of childhood high-risk traumatic brain injury (TBI) increase by 4.84% per year, for every 1% increase in the 90-day mortgage-delinquency rate from the previous year; the rate of child abuse increased by 6.5% per year and the rate of TBI increase by 10.21%, for every 1% increase in the foreclosure rate from the previous year.”

These are families we think of typically as poverty-stricken. These are middle socio-economic families also. These are college educated families whose primary earners have been out of work some weeks to 2+ years. These are parents of dependent children.

I believe in fiscal restraint. I believe in accountability. I believe in my responsibility to maximize my God-given talents and to share ‘with the least of these’ as best I can. I believe we must build our response to this country’s budget dilemma on what is needed to build strong families. Not just on tax cuts, industry and business needs (yes, I know they are the employers), political ideology, and certainly ‘winning at all costs’. 

What is a sane person to do? I think I am ‘sane’. Even if I don’t have all the answers. But I will be listening to these Presidential slates and to Governor elections across the country to see who is standing up for whom, who recognizes the plight of struggling American families and especially our children, and who has details to propose about health, economic, and educational opportunity for all our citizens. 

I don’t have to have all the answers, as much as I would like to have them. But I do have to have leadership that values and understands American families and who can articulate specific plans to address well-being for all. I will be listening closely.


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