Parenting - Life Without Parole : Surviving Your Childs Addiction

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Campaign success can also be contingent on the nature of the ask; asking for help with ongoing caregiving costs , for example, is less straightforward than requesting assistance with the costs of a specific medical procedure.


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Berliner and Kenworthy fear crowdfunding may be exacerbating socioeconomic inequalities. With crowdfunding occupying a growing role in the health care landscape, it should be noted that campaigners may also not be aware of the financial implications of participation, including tax liabilities or jeopardizing eligibility for need-based programs like Medicaid. Those most in need of advice on these issues may be least able to access it, lacking attorneys and accountants in their friend networks and unaware that they may need to consult a professional for advice. The rise of medical crowdfunding demonstrates that insured and uninsured alike are struggling with health care expenses, especially among low-income people.

In states without Medicaid expansion, medical debt is particularly high. Medical debt may be ubiquitous, but the amount of debt is often surprisingly small. Far from being a grassroots solution to disparities in health care access, crowdfunding may just be making the problem worse by foregrounding personal responsibility over institutional accountability.

Health care affordability was certainly on the minds of voters last week as they turned out to vote for Medicaid expansion in three states, Democratic governors who can drive Medicaid expansion like Laura Kelly in Kansas, and members of Congress who made health care part of their platform.

Stabilizing the Affordable Care Act and moving to protect Medicaid and Medicare may help bring some direct health care costs under control for currently vulnerable groups. In the meantime, those facing high health care costs and associated expenses will have to keep turning to the internet for help. Please pray and god bless you all! It was posted 18 months ago. Those kinds of cases happen, but far more common are the ones where parents do their very best but still come up short on money for the heat, or the rent, or a licensed babysitter. My case is one of those, in which a little more cash and sympathy would have kept my daughters with me.

Three-quarters of substantiated child maltreatment cases are related to neglect, and the kind of neglect that triggers a CPS case is almost always the result of poverty.

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Although each state gets to set its own specific definitions for neglect, they typically center around deprivation of things like food, shelter, clothing, or medical treatment, which are problems almost totally exclusive to poor people. The accusation that brought child services into my family was related to drug use. After a series of urine and hair panels tested negative, child protective services broadened their investigation. They raised concerns about the fact that I was living with my in-laws, and that I had been unable to attend trauma therapy for a month while I waited for my new state insurance to go into effect.

The investigation lead to a dependency trial, where the investigator made it clear that my daughters showed no signs of abuse or neglect. I lost anyway. This means that my daughters now live with my in-laws, and I am legally barred from being in their home after 8 p. If I had been in a different city, or a different state, things might have turned out a lot differently.

Child protective services is an umbrella term used to describe individual local agencies. They are governed by standards set at the federal level but operate independently in each state, and city-level jurisdictions set their own policies to manage reports of neglect or abuse. This means that location plays an enormous role in CPS response. Families who live in an area experiencing an economic boom are more likely to receive support, like help turning the water back on if it was shut off for nonpayment, while families in more depressed areas are less likely to have resources available to them.

This time last year, I was living in Seattle. After learning that the relapse had been prompted by legal difficulties with my abuser — for which I could not afford representation — they referred me to an agency that was ultimately able to provide me with an attorney pro bono. When I disclosed that I was having difficulty accessing trauma therapy because I could not afford child care, they helped secure placement for both of my daughters in a free, comprehensive daycare. And when I told them our utilities were pending shut-off, CPS paid the portion required to keep them running.

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My daughters did not spend a single day out of our home, and our lives began to improve. But Seattle is a very wealthy area, with a high cost of living. When my husband had a mental health crisis that prevented him from working, we had to move somewhere more affordable and closer to his family. That somewhere ended up being Broward County, Florida. In Seattle, we were given a chance to recover. Josh Michtom, a Connecticut public defender who represents child-welfare involved parents and children, says that poor families have the most difficulty when they come under CPS scrutiny.

Martin also points out that the numbers may not even fully capture the extent of the relationship between poverty and child welfare involvement. She says that the official figure, which links 47 percent of cases to poverty, measures families who are financially unable to meet their basic needs.

For example, a parent who does not have the means to heat their home in the winter. She uses the example of inadequate supervision, a common factor in child removals that has gained some past media attention. In his practice, Michtom also struggles with the huge cultural divide that often exists between mandatory reporters and many parents living in poverty. He describes how something such as a parent deviating from the typical upper- or middle-class vernacular may lead a teacher or pediatrician to subconsciously distrust the parent and therefore ascribe malicious intent to something like a bruised knee or unkempt clothing.

Even if the original allegation turns out to be unfounded, a myriad of other factors — issues that may not have been enough to prompt a call on their own — can be used against the parent. Michtom believes that cultural differences between investigators, judges, and other people involved in the substantiation process directly affect how even small deviations are perceived. Parenting in poverty creates a cycle of factors that compound each other. For my family, an inability to pay for child care or legal aid in created a snowball of stressors that ultimately led to a relapse and almost killed me.

This year, when we were managing to get by, a sudden unexpected health emergency sent us spiraling right back into the system.

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Maybe my daughters would be with me now. Maybe my husband would be on a road to wellness instead of struggling alongside me to find permanent housing. Maybe the other 3 million families involved with CPS would flourish and thrive. Maybe parenting in poverty would stop being so hard.

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California is on fire. The dramatic Woolsey and Hill fires scorching the hills around Los Angeles are still being brought under control, and first responders are battling the Camp Fire in Butte County, which has killed at least 56 people and torn through , acres and more than 10, structures. Recovery from wildfires can take years, and for affected communities, one aspect is especially pressing: Housing. With Five of his 36 staffers from around Butte County lost their homes in the blaze and many others are housing friends and family left houseless by the fire.

The county as a whole lost a staggering 10 percent of its housing stock in the Camp Fire. Evacuees from Paradise are predominantly low-income elders and disabled people who settled there for a unique combination of affordable housing by California standards and access to medical services, he explains, a situation they may struggle to find elsewhere in the state. He fears low-income residents may leave the state altogether, while others may be left doubling up with friends and family or moving in and out of shelters and the street.

The local alternatives, like neighboring Oroville, are unlikely to meet the needs of evacuees — 60 percent of Oroville renters are already paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent and utilities every month. Oroville was also in the headlines in for its crumbling dam, which itself may be threatened by the fire.

Parental rights terminated in Mitchelle Blair case.

The lessons from Santa Rosa and surrounding Sonoma County may prove to be instructive for other communities in the state facing similar catastrophes. In the weeks and months after the Santa Rosa fires, rents began soaring , and so did property values , though Governor Jerry Brown instituted temporary price gouging protections that led to at least one successful prosecution.

Construction costs also began to rise , further crunching homeowners attempting to rebuild and complicated by a proliferation of unlicensed and unqualified contractors flocking to the area to take advantage of property owners eager to start rebuilding. In Santa Rosa, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat estimated the housing crunch caused by the Tubbs fire drove some 7, people to leave the city of ,, and over 1, fled the county altogether — some, tragically, for Butte County.

Renters particularly struggled, with working-class people and undocumented immigrants heavily represented amongst those scrambling for housing. Long, uncertain waits while property owners determined whether and how to rebuild were compounded by housing scarcity and rising prices, making it hard to stay in the area in the aftermath of the fire. Sonoma County was ultimately forced to declare a homelessness crisis to access funds for people experiencing homelessness, with rates climbing six percent in the aftermath of the fire.

According to CoreLogic , rents tend to spike after disasters, as illustrated in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey as well as the Tubbs fire. A man? We flew home. My husband was waiting for us beside the baggage claim with this terrible look on his face. I called her, and she was crying. Every year, 30 to 40 children, usually under the age of 6, die after being left alone in cars.

Their deaths usually by suffocation , are slow, torturous, unspeakably tragic. I know that on a degree day, a closed car can become an oven. I know that a home with an unfenced swimming pool is as dangerous as one with a loaded gun.

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I know how important it is to install car seats correctly, to adjust and fasten the straps regularly. When my kids were babies I always put them to sleep on their backs, though they hated it. I treated small, chokeable objects like arsenic, put up gates on all our stairways not the tension-rod kind that can be pushed over, but the kind you bolt into the wall. I immunized them against everything immunizable, sliced their hotdogs lengthwise and removed the casing, made sure their plates and cups were BPA free, limited their screen time, slathered them in sunscreen on sunny days.

Sometimes I fantasized about moving with my family to a sun-drenched island in the Mediterranean where my children could spend their days frolicking freely on the beach without worry of speeding cars or communicable diseases, but I never confuse this fantasy with the reality we live in, the reality of risk and danger, the reality that terrible things happen to good, well-meaning people every second of every day.

By the time the police arrived, I had already left the scene, and by the time they looked up the license plate number of the minivan and traced it to my parents, I was flying home. I hired a lawyer to talk to the police on my behalf. I sought advice and support from those I loved and trusted. I tried to stay calm. For a while, it looked like he was right. But nine months later, a few minutes after dropping my kids off at school, I was walking to a coffee shop when my cellphone rang. Another officer asked if I was Kim Brooks and if I was aware there was a warrant out for my arrest. My friends and I sometimes play this game, the did-our-parents-really-let-us-do-that game.

We recall bike ramps, model rockets, videotaping ourselves setting toys on fire. Many remember taking off on bikes alone, playing in the woods for hours without adult supervision, crawling through storm drains to follow creek beds, latchkey afternoons, monkey bars installed over slabs of concrete. My husband recalls forts built in the trunk of the station wagon on long road trips. One friend tells me how, from 7-Elevens, to Kroger, to various banks, schools and offices, he was left alone in the front passenger seat of a convertible Mustang for a good portion of his childhood, primarily because he was shy and wanted to not have to meet new people.

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