Friday, April 18, 2008

I cheered up the social worker

This morning, the social worker assigned to my school came in to our classroom rather distraught. Because of the specific population of students in my room, we need a washer & dryer for all the washcloths, shirt protectors (bibs) and various blankets, etc. that the kids use.

The lady came in this morning with a coat that needed to go through the laundry too. She was upset because she is frustrated with the parents of some of the kids that think it's okay to get their drugs and let their kids sleep outside. Well, I'd be upset too.

I let her rant a bit, because she needed an ear. Then I said, "You know, my husband has a solution for that."

I told her Lee's idea of creating dorms on elementary school campuses, where the kids would stay Monday - Friday, and then mom/dad could get them over the weekend if they were clean & had a safe place to go. During the week they'd get good, solid meals, have tutoring available, and would have activities for free time instead of just TV or video games.

Of course, she realized all the rigamarole and beauracracy involved in ever bringing an idea like this to fruition, but at the same time, it kind of gave her hope. She said she only ever hears how horrible the situation is, and no one ever has ideas to fix it.

This is one of those things she can suggest the next time she goes to one of those conferences she attends for social workers. She really cheered up thinking of all the good things that could be accomplished for these kids that would be served by a situation like that.

Maybe if others with great grant-writing abilities can get involved? People with ties to the community who know where the money is for things like that? People who know about Children's Services who don't have a place to keep the neglected kids? People in the law field with an understanding of serving children's needs? Who knows?

Look for elementary school dorms down the road... maybe when we get vouchers?



Re-Navy!! said...

that idea is pretty cool. Arent those practically private schools though? It would be a cool idea. For those that are orphans they could have a place to stay while at school but if the parents CAN afford it maybe charge a weekly room and board? So the costs get covered and the kids get taken care of....

Tina said...

It's just a dorm for regular schools. These would pretty much be the kids that would be foster kids - which the state pays foster parents to keep. Homeless kids are typically taken from their parents until the parents can get back on their feet - so the kids can be safe.

Hopefully, it would only be a temporary situation. But if you were in a homeless family, wouldn't you rather live near your school with solid meals and a safe place to be while Mom & Dad did everything they could to get jobs & stuff?

Kids with homes could probably meet after school at that place to do clubs/sports, etc. But they wouldn't live there if they have parents to take care of them.

Yeah - the whole trick is the money & how to work it. Same as always...

prestoffcenter said...

Way cool idea!

Somewhere in the system needs to be a way to tie up some plumbing of both parents until they prove worthy of a second.

Without the little daily reminder around they will be free to breed like rabbits. No prob- send this one off to the dorm too!

Sure there would be those that truly benefit the system, but how do we keep out the ones just taking advantage?

Tina said...

When I was at CSUF, taking the sociology courses, I also thought "What if everyone got something done to keep them from reproducing until AFTER they'd taken & passed parenting classes? Then you wouldn't have the unwanted kids or the messed up parents!"

Lee's comment was, "Uh, hon, your German heritage is showing through."

Thing is, how many people out there rise above their circumstances to become outstanding members of the community & the world? What if they never got born due to population control like that? It only takes one person to create something that affects the whole world (hopefully in a positive way!).

Lee says maybe if you market it as "Free permanent birth control" and it's all left to the parents?

keeka said...

There is also the question: if the money that goes to foster parents could go to a program like this then would the foster parents get pay cuts to just take them on weekends. How many foster families use the money for things other than their foster kids? They probably wouldn't take advantage of the program unless forced to. I know of one family firsthand that said they took a foster kid strickly for the money..pretty sad.

flyingvan said...

You'd be amazed at the huge televisions these people have, and how much time's wasted watching it. Any and all welfare dollars should be conditional on: no television, and a negative drug test. Foodstamps must go to healthy food only, nothing pre-packaged where the nutritional value per dollar is really low. No work? I'm sure there is plenty they could do at the school---custodial, reading help, etc...

Lee said...

I'm not sure how heaping unverifiable requirements on welfare dollars does anything positive.

The idea for the dorm public schools isnt punitive for the parents or to correct behavior. It is to provide a stable life during the school week and year for the kids, so the educational process can have a decent chance to work.

The symantecs of making such a place that is an actual warm environment is difficult at best. I may be overly optimistic when I say that its very possible.