About a year ago, President Trump signed the Family First Prevention Service Act into law. Social workers engaged in child and family care praised the legislation as the first “prevention” measure to help keep children safely with their families and avoid the traumatic experience of entering foster care. The act emphasized the importance of children growing up in families and helps ensure children are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate to their special needs when foster care is needed.
The San Francisco board of supervisors recently introduced a budget measure that would raise the minimum wage for nonprofit and in-home supportive service workers from $15/hour to $17/hour. When challenged, the board justified the $13 million added annual expense to the city budget by citing the crisis the home healthcare field is experiencing in San Francisco. It is bleeding workers daily.
In the past twenty years, student debt has become a major social and political issue in our country. As government guaranteed student loans became more widely available, colleges began to raise their tuition rates to keep pace with the expansion boom that ready government financing created. More students required more professors and facilities to accommodate their needs, and colleges needed more money to pay for the growth. The result, of course, is that students borrowed more and more money to pay inflated tuition and fees and subsequently became burdened with overwhelming debt.
Our recent blog on the Charter School movement highlighted the dramatic adoption of Charter Schools in two cities in crisis: New Orleans after Katrina and Detroit after the collapse of the auto industry. The question that remains after we reported the brief history of Charter Schools is:
SEEDS OF DOUBTWhen the Cancer Charities fraud case broke in 2015, donors began to ask how this kind of egregious fraud could go undetected for 28 years. “Can we depend on the IRS or the FTC or the state attorneys general to keep an eye on the nonprofit sector? Isn’t anyone watching the store?” Even concerned case workers began to wonder how the reaction to this case could have been so painfully slow. Everyone involved in the sector understood immediately that if this kind of doubt is permitted to creep in, nonprofit is in for big trouble.
Ever since Donald Trump was unexpectedly elected the next President of the United States the internet has been abuzz with speculation about how it could have happened. We think our colleagues at Generation Citizen, the civics nonprofit, summed it up in one sentence:
The election is over and there are obviously mixed feelings across the board ranging from excitement about the future, devastation about the loss, to just a general level of uncertainty. We talked recently about how social workers can approach their clients during this uncertain time whether they are republicans, democrats, or undecideds. Staying impartial is critical and using the current situation to their advantage are keys to tackling the challenges we are seeing with helping clients. Social workers are able to dig deeper into underlying concerns, mental state, and the real needs of their clients, but what about social workers themselves?
Not only do we need to understand the effect politics has on the people social workers serve but we need to understand what affect is has on those providing these services. Everyone will handle this transition of power from President Obama to President Elect trump differently but the mission remains the same! There are still children and families in this country that need their help.
No matter what side of the political fence you fall on your clients are counting on you to show up! Unfortunately, you don’t get a day off from all the terrible things happening every day in our country to our most vulnerable population, children. That is a luxury not afforded to this field of work. No matter who the Commander in Chief is we still need you to show up and work towards improving our client’s lives and protecting children. Thanks for showing up when times are tough!