Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Conservative Fiscal Irresponsibility: Cutting welfare increases the number of kids in state care

I just came across this very important article which states an truth which leads me to the following conclusion, which I've known for years:  The best way to reform CPS is to address the needs of the family so that children can remain safe in the home, and keep them with family when that's not possible.

Republicans, however, want to reform welfare because they think it will save money.
Hundreds of Az’s poorest families will be dropped from assistance program
Arizona will become the first and only state to impose a one-year lifetime limit for impoverished households receiving federal benefits from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program – a move that will cut payments to about 1,600 families next July.
I usually don't post stuff about welfare like TANIF or SNAP, because it is a whole different can of worms, but this is just too important to pass up because it demonstrates either how conservative welfare reformers are out to destroy the family or just how stupid they are while claiming to be for smaller government and fiscal responsibility because the cost of snatching a kid and warehousing them in foster care on a monthly basis will make that $195 a month look like pocket change.
“I think what we have in Arizona is an aggressive and intentional effort to undermine support for vulnerable families,” said Cynthia Zwick, executive director for the Arizona Community Action Association. “Well, I’m worried that many of those families will end up on the streets, they will become homeless. They will not have the resources they need for their children, that their children will be placed in unsafe circumstances.”
The average family on TANF receives $195 each month. Part of the savings from the program will instead go to Arizona’s Department of Child Safety to help with abuse and neglect investigations and foster care. 
It is also true that CPS creates jobs and contracts and work for lawyers, shrinks, various NGO's, and it certainly creates billing opportunities for System Sucks to bring those desperately needed federal dollars into the state.  Not the point.  That all costs more money for the tax payer who ultimately pays the bills as well as more government intervention into our lives when it is not completely necessary, such as in minor neglect cases which will increase when they cut families off welfare.
It’s not the first time that the state has cut back on TANF assistance. In 2010, Arizona reduced its limit to three years and in 2011, it went down to two years. Federal law permits 60 months. According to DES, about half of Arizona’s current recipients, will lose benefits come July. 
And Arizona's Child Welfare system has been an out of control, baby-stealing mess since long before that.  This is not what they need.  This will not help them solve any of their current problems.  It will only create more.
“It seems clear that Arizona has abandoned these two original functions and instead chosen to funnel TANF funds into an overburdened and underfunded child welfare system that has been plagued over the years by both structural and operational failures,” says a recent report from Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute.
The fact of the matter is that TANIF, SNAP, daycare subsidies, drug treatment programs, housing assistance or whatever the problem is, is much cheaper than the alternative.  A young mother simply can't be left to fend for herself when 3/4th (or more) of her McDonald's paycheck is expected to go to daycare and McDonald's and Walmart don't have to pay their workers enough so that they don't have to qualify for welfare assistance.

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