Sunday, July 24, 2016

The LePage Administration Favors Destroying Families Over Helping Children


It's no secret that the LePage administration has little sympathy for families who are struggling to make ends meet.  Here are the links to two recent news articles that discuss this...   
So it seems that our Governor Paul LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew have been denying help to families in need while leaving millions in the bank and reallocating federal funding specifically designated by law for children to programs that help the elderly.  

Taking that into consideration, it's also no secret that our Governor has been on the warpath recently against drug abusers and dealers, while taking aim at the ever growing need for drug treatment programs by doing everything in his power to destroy some of the available options by pulling funding or changing the rules so that treatment will be much harder to get...  
  • Advocates say new DHHS draft rules could shutter Maine drug treatment clinics
These are just two examples of ways that the current administration is denying help to needy families, but when you put these issues together: for example a heroin epidemic, lack of treatment programs, hungry kids living in poverty, our children suffer and that's even more unacceptable.  So instead of helping the families to get it right they simply send out the nice social workers who take the kids away and leave the parents to deal with it themselves...
Now, regarding what was written in the above article, it's wonderful that Commissioner Mayhew is once again showing her fake heartwarming concern for the children by allowing her cronies to rip them from their homes while trying to find them new ones and everything.  This isn't the first time she's engaged in foster parent recruitment.  The cost of this, however, is significantly more than the alternative which is to provide the help and services that help the parents overcome the problems?   Maine has experienced successes with programs like "Family Treatment Drug Court" in the past...  
There are also similar successful programs that we could look at from other states for new ideas...
Because often times they are successful and when they are, these are the best possible outcomes for the kids.  It was those types of services that led to Maine's being a "National Model Child Welfare System" as little as 5 years ago, thanks to the previous administration...
Foster care is not a good situation for a child to grow up.  I hate to be the one to have to enlighten you, but if a parent gets hooked or can't put food on the table, that's what will eventually happen.  I realize that many of you may think that it's perfectly acceptable to remove a kid from their parents because one got hooked on opiates or because a family can't take care of a kid and if the kid is truly in danger then so be it, but then what?  Do we bounce the kid through the system?  From home to home?  Throw him into a group home?  Maybe we can adopt them out to a loving family if they're lucky, right?  Fat chance for some kids.  

I also realize that many of you don't like TANF or the various welfare programs that help to lift a family up because of the cost to the taxpayer, but when the money comes in from the fed's, that money should be allocated to solving problems caused by child poverty because that's what helps the kids.  AS for the 10% of funding that can be relocated to programs that help kids, parental drug treatment programs would be a much better option than services for the elderly, I'm not saying that the elderly don't need or deserve the help either, but that's simply not what this specific federal funding is for.  That money will have to come from someplace else.
  
Governor LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew really need to get their priorities straight, either that or LePage should fire Mayhew and hand the reigns over to somebody with half a clue and somewhat of a heart.  After all, shouldn't compassion be a quality in a DHHS Commissioner?  

    1 comment:

    1. Great article Patrick. My concern is the misappropriation of TANF funding to harm families. We need to FOIA Maine's Block Grants and follow the money. Good work Patrick.

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