"We are the world, we are the children. We are the ones who makes a brighter day, so let's start giving. There's a choice we're making, we're saving our own lives. It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me." Michael Jackson (Watch it here: We are the World)
|Young Students protesting School Closings.|
Photo from NYCEYE.Blogspot.com
I hope you are thinking about how important it is that we as Social Workers, parents, and concerned citizens will advocate to end the massive cuts to programs that provides services to poor families and children. However some critics still have issues with social programs being a social responsibility or a personal responsibility. Let's look at the growth and development of a child born into a poor household and the family have limited resources to sustain a quality education, quality housing, and quality employment. Take the mother and father out of the equation, did the child choose to be born into those conditions? They are going to be conditioned into the environment they grow up in. Take away all the services to help the family achieve personal and financial success and you take the child's ability to grow into a productive member of society. Give a child a chance to better himself with a quality education, a better opportunity to higher learning, adequate health, housing, and nutrition and I'm pretty sure when he grows up he will be able to care for his family without the help of social services. How important is this issue? We are not going to live forever and the success of these children will determine the success of our future because they will become the next generation of citizens and leaders.
Preventative approaches to help low-income families and their children are cost effective, pro-active, and increases their chances from moving out of poverty and less needy of social services. Policies such as family preservations, SNAP, Affordable Healthcare and Head Starts had the right idea.
Let's take a look at the The Harlem Children's Zone Model. The idea is holistic in addressing the needs of the child and their families. "If we could move to a place of empathy, identifying with children because we have all been children, we might create different ways of caring for children and their families. If an empathetic stance is taken, we would ask what all children need to ensure well-being, and create policies to fulfill that need... Preventing social problems not only alleviates immediate suffering but may help to solve the problems entirely." Social Welfare Policy and Social Programs - Segal (pg. 305)
Stay inspired, Sophie.