Monthly Archives: February 2016

Trump Puppymonkeybaby

I’d like to see an analysis program ran on all of Trump’s speeches, statements, etc. to extract his three most frequently used words and create a video. I’m sure it will be something as stupid as the Puppymonkeybaby commercial. I still shiver when I see this stupid of stupid commercials but can’t help reciting puppymonkeybaby, puppymonkeybaby, puppymonkeybaby….

NY bill would block use of food stamps for steak, lobster other ‘luxury’ items

Definitely an interesting dilemma. Who’s to say a steak is a luxury item or not. My pet peeve, and again, who am I to say, is seeing food assistance card being used for pop, snacks, candies, candy bars and such and then whip out a bill to buy the cigarettes and beer.

Perhaps a better bill would be to require people on food assistance to take classes on food management and healthy preparation of “raw” foods. “Cooking” as we know it today seems to be merely popping a frozen meal in the microwave.

Well as a recipient of food assistance at one time myself, but also of a generation of knowing how to purchase food, knowing that fresh is better, and was taught how to prepare food, my definition of what is considered acceptable is way different than what is acceptable today. We are an on-the-go society so that usage of the card to purchase a more expensive prepared sandwich or processed meal or making from scratch has a totally different meaning today. At the end, it’s really about managing what resources we have whether earned or given. That is a skill not necessarily known whether you are on food assistance or not. When you provide monetary assistance it is merely that with no expectation otherwise.
By NBC4 Staff
Published: February 19, 2016, 1:32 pm Updated: February 19, 2016, 1:34 pm

ALBANY, NY (WCMH)– A bill being introduced in New York would keep food stamp recipients from buying “luxury” items with the state’s assistance.
According to the
Journal News, Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County, introduced the bill that targets non-nutritious or high-end “luxury food items” .
Some of the examples in the bill are lobster, certain steaks, and energy drinks.
“At a time when our state and nation are struggling with an obesity epidemic, it is critically important that taxpayer-funded programs help low-income consumers make wise and healthy food choices,” according to the bill memo.
Jeremy Saunders, co-executive director of Vocal New York, a group that advocates for low-income New Yorkers, told the
Journal News that the bill is “ridiculous.”
“Our food-stamp system is set up for people that do not have enough access to food to be able to get food,” Saunders said. “This is a Republican attempt to make it appear that poor people use tax dollars to buy steak and lobster.”

Child born, but not a child fed

I think that the statement is true. If we are going to be about that abortion is wrong and that all children should be born, then let’s step forward and see how those children are going to be cared for. We have many unwanted births in the world with many tools to prevent conception in the first place and even tools to terminate the pregnancy with in a reasonable time. Our culture and spiritual beliefs are dated at best and need to be explored as we continue to populate our world. Especially when we are basically at the verge of our food capacity as we speak. I for one thinking globally, will not sacrifice the quality of my life going forward to be sure that we conceive and populate at every possible moment. We have tools and resources and they need to be used as well as identifying how we as a species are going to continue to live on the small planet that we are on within the current resources we have to sustain ourselves.

Regarding food production: There is waste in all food production from home cooking up the chain but let’s really explore why we are having bacteria and such in our food production and the fact that we are living more and more on genetically altered foods in order to increase food production. We already live in a world where the more privileged can populate with comfort while millions in the world populate without. Discussion can go on but I like the statement that we have many choices in bringing a child into the world and those choices should include the thought of how that child is going to be raised. At the end, one shouldn’t be having children because they biologically can, but rather they should have children because they are prepared to do so.


Child Protective Services

Well written prospective from the life of a child social worker. Makes one wonder in this prospective if this isn’t the start of the durg use, unsafe lifestyle, and ultimate heroion stories when we read about that epidemic. Perhaps a correlation?

IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Worked In Child Protective Services
You feel responsible for the kid you see in front of you, the kid clearly suffering from a lifetime of abuse and neglect, this kid whose life might have maybe been different, if only. You play “if only” a lot.

I recently took a kid to this hole in the wall pizza joint where I used to take dates to impress them with my vast knowledge of the city’s underrated food. It blew his mind. He was so impressed that he took a picture of the menu. Turns out my secret restaurant knowledge works on kids, too.

After we had pizza, I did not take him home. Instead we got in the car and I took him to one of our city’s youth shelters. He was in the custody of the state and we could not find a foster home. In the two weeks that I had him in custody, he was in five different homes that I can remember (including two shelters), none for more than a couple of nights and some more than once.

As the social worker who had taken him into state custody, I was responsible for him when we couldn’t find a foster home (“placement”) for that night. My job was to pick him up in the morning and to take him to school. On one occasion shelter staff asked me to take him during the day on a weekend. So I took him to eat wings and watch baseball.

I am a social worker and I was in child protective services. It is not like what you see on “Law and Order.” We do not cackle while we grab wailing kids from the arms of screaming parents. We do not ineptly disappear for months on end while our kids rot in some faraway foster home that nobody seems to be able to locate. We do not get rich “snatching babies” and we do not get commission for each kid we take. What we do is navigate an understaffed, underfunded, and completely misunderstood system in order to do the best we can by the most vulnerable kids (and parents) that we have.

Ever since I was a little kid (a little kid who watched a lot of “Judging Amy”), I wanted to work in CPS. I thought Amy’s mom was the baddest bitch on the planet the way she went to bat for her families. I wanted to be her when I grew up. (My mother wanted me to go to law school and be Amy.)

When I was in grad school, I immediately began interning at CPS. During my interview for the internship, the social worker who would become my supervisor asked me if I was aware there would be child abuse involved. I stared blankly at him and told him I understood.

And boy, is there child abuse. There are babies with skull fractures. There are toddlers with tiny little lifetimes of healed fractures. There are newborns abandoned at the hospital. There is the ever-present hat trick of substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health, and the families who just really, really need help. There are teenagers raped by mom’s boyfriends and thrown out of the house for “stealing” the boyfriends. There are parents with intellectual disabilities who, no matter how hard they try, cannot do it alone. There is the sinking realization that if you scratch the surface of a “dirty house” neglect case, there is something much more serious underneath. There is the multigenerational abuse, the abuse so entrenched in families that we cannot have the grandparents care for the children while the parents are in treatment because the grandparents have child abuse charges from when the parents were little. There are grandparents telling parents they need to just get over being molested because it happened to them too and they turned out just fine.

And, hopefully not too often, there are the fatalities. The ones where you shut your office door and you cry, because you do not know what else to do because a kid died and kids aren’t supposed to die. The ones where maybe the family did have a history with CPS, but there was nothing tangible enough for you to base a legal case on but you knew there was something and you wanted to scream but I know this is something, I just know it, but I can’t prove it, but since you couldn’t prove it you couldn’t do anything and now a kid is dead.

The ones where the family doesn’t have a history because they stayed under the radar and never sent their kids to school and never took their kids to the doctor and never had early intervention and there was never one single eye on those kids outside the family and so no one ever knew and now a kid is dead. The ones where the family had some sort of horrible freak accident like rolling over onto the baby while sleeping or just that one time not securing medication that the baby picked up off the floor and ate or leaving the baby in the hot car and now a kid is dead. I don’t know how to make sense of those. I don’t think any of us do, not even the lifers, the supervisors, the management. But you can feel it in the office hallway. And it feels like shit.

Sometimes we have to take the kids. Usually we don’t –- only about half of all reports are investigated, about a fifth of those investigations result in a substantiated allegation, and a tiny number of those substantiations result in a kid being removed from their home. And it’s hard to take a kid. It’s really damn hard to take a kid and it should be hard to take a kid because it’s serious and we shouldn’t be doing it all willy nilly. Foster care is serious. Treatment plans are serious. Court hearings are serious. Submitting an affidavit swearing that a child cannot be kept safe in the care of their parents is serious. Going up to the witness stand and testifying that someone abused and/or neglected their child while they and their attorney are staring at you is serious.

I’m glad we can’t just do what they show on TV, which is take a kid the second the report alleging abuse or neglect comes in and terminate the parents’ rights three days later. (I wish TV would stop portraying it like this, by the way. It keeps people from calling because they think calling is somehow automatically going to result in the kid being removed and immediately adopted.)

But sometimes it’s hard to take a kid and then when you finally have something you can take to court on this kid who is now a teenager, it all unfolds and you realize you are 15 years too late. You read and re-read through 15 years of case narratives and investigation studies and one or two 48-hour holds that ended in custody being released back to the parents and you think to yourself, We did this. We all, over the last 15 years, did this. We couldn’t help this kid and how many extra beatings, how many extra rapes did this kid endure since we’ve known about this family? You drive yourself crazy going over every interaction you ever had with the family, with the schools, with the other providers who worked with the family wondering what you missed. You look through the case narratives and see that the people who taught you how to do your job, the people you regard as your role models have also worked with this family and they couldn’t find anything to take to court either.

It is a horrible, miserable, all-consuming despair. You question yourself, your work with the family, your work with other families, and pretty much everything up to and including your career choice. You feel responsible for the kid you see in front of you, the kid clearly suffering from a lifetime of abuse and neglect, this kid whose life might have maybe been different, if only. You play “if only” a lot.

Today, I was at the post office, and “Don’t Stop Believing” came on the radio. I started to cry and let the guy behind me in line go ahead. My pizza place kid had played it in the car on the way from a different dinner to a different foster home. He sang along and asked me to sing with him. I circled the block of the foster home until the song was over and then I dropped him off. I have no idea where he is today and I have no idea how he is doing. And it kills me.

I left that job soon after working with my pizza place kid, and it had nothing to do with the families or even with the child abuse. It is damn near impossible to navigate the system from the inside (understaffing, underfunding, zero cooperation between agencies who need to be cooperating to serve families, management that ranged from unsupportive to straight up unethical and abusive) and I felt like I could best serve my kids and their parents from another role. It happens a lot.

They tell us to practice self-care. For me, self-care had to mean leaving.

Anonymous is a social worker who would like you to find out more about becoming a foster parent by contacting your local child welfare agency.

Is Columbus demolishing too many vacant houses?

If a decayed house on a property is vacant and an eyesore it becomes a hazard to the community regardless of the aesthetic or original building plan of that community. Vacant plots even if scattered within these communities can be developed by that community and beneficial to that community. Also vacant plots can be purchased by adjacent owner occupied properties thusly increasing the value of those properties and affectively increasing the housing value within that community. If at a later time housing demand for that community increases then there will be vacant land to build on. It is a win, win situation as opposed to leaving vacant housing to decay, promote illicit activity and depreciate the value of owner occupied housing in that community.

Is Columbus demolishing too many vacant houses?