Foster Care and Beyond

by Tia Will

In response to the recent Vanguard article “If We’re Going to Focus on Healthy Children, Let’s Get to the Core Issues” a poster wrote:

“Children are almost always very attached to their parents.  Taking them away from their parents is a terribly traumatic situation, which may haunt and hinder them for their entire lives…Much better to educate, support, monitor, and/or threaten the parents than to do lasting harm by taking kids away from them. And, would foster care be any better?  It’s not often that foster care is beneficial to children.”

One core issue determining the lifetime success of a child is who provides the basic parenting.

Coincidentally, one day later, I received my copy of UC Davis Magazine. One of the featured articles was “Beating the Odds” which focuses on the success of one of the approximately 100 students who have been helped to graduate from UCD by the Guardian Professions Program. According to the article this is the first, and only program of its kind in the nation dedicated to helping former foster children pursue a professional or graduate degree. This coincidence prompted me to look into the core issues faced by foster children in our city and county.

In 2013, in California, there were a total of 58,699 children in foster care. In Yolo County the number was 246. Eighty-three percent were removed from their homes due to neglect, nine percent due to physical abuse, and two percent due to sexual abuse.

According to the Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services (see: here) a child must leave the foster care program to live independently at age 18. In order to ease this transition Child Welfare Services has a program designed to aide the child in learning the skills necessary for independent living. Yolo County has instituted an Independent Living Program, run through DESS, which provides youth access to training, support, community services and resources. Foster youth can participate in the program as early as age 15 to begin to develop life skills such as budgeting, finding and keeping a job, and doing laundry. DESS offers incentives to encourage these teenagers to participate in the program. Youth continue to be eligible for services after emancipation until they are 21 years of age, as long as they were in out-of-home care on, or after, their 16th birthday. These services provide youth between the ages of 18 and 20 the assistance necessary to obtain resources such as transportation, tuition for college or vocational education, clothing for job interviews, furniture and other household supplies, or in making a security deposit toward a living arrangement.

According to DESS Chief Deputy Diana Williams: “Studies show that on average, the young are not truly on their own until age 28…Foster children don’t generally have the support system they need to bridge them from childhood to adulthood. We do what we can to provide it for them.”

A 2006 study by Pecora and colleagues tracked outcomes of 659 young adults and found that while, “Foster care alumni completed high school at a rate comparable to the general population…a disproportionately high number of them completed high school via a GED.” Alumni completion rates for postsecondary education were low. Consequently, many alumni were in fragile economic situations: one-third of the alumni had household incomes at or below the poverty level, one-third had no health insurance (pre-ACA), and more than one in five experienced homelessness after leaving foster care. Two aspects of the foster care experience were estimated to significantly increase success in the Education domain: positive placement history (e.g., high placement stability, few failed reunifications), and having broad independent living preparation (as exemplified by having concrete resources upon leaving care). For the Employment and Finances outcome domain, receiving broad independent living preparation (as exemplified by having concrete resources upon leaving care) was estimated to significantly reduce the number of undesirable outcomes.

These undesirable outcomes were outlined in a second study by George and colleagues, from 2002 (here). The main findings were:

  • Youth aging out of foster care are underemployed. No more than 45 percent of the aging out youth have earnings during any one of the 13 quarters of the study. This is also the case for reunified youth. A slightly larger proportion of low-income youth has earnings, but never more than 50 percent.
  • Patterns of unemployment vary by state. About 23 percent of youth aging out of foster care in California had no earnings during the entire 13-quarter period.
  • Youth who do work begin to do so early. Youth were more likely to earn income for the first time during the four quarters prior to and the quarter of their eighteenth birthday than in the 2 years following. For youth who exited foster care by aging out, half in California had earnings prior to their eighteenth birthday. The aging out group is more likely to work than the reunified group in California. In California if youth did not work prior to exit, there was slightly more than a 50-50 chance that they would begin employment after exit.
  • Youth aging out of foster care have mean earnings below the poverty level. Youth aging out of foster care earn significantly less than youth in any of the comparison groups both prior to and after their eighteenth birthday. Average quarterly earnings do grow significantly from the 4 quarters prior to the eighteenth birthdays to the 8 quarters after it. These youth average less than $6,000 per year in wages, which is substantially below the 1997 poverty level of $7,890 for a single individual.
  • Youth aging out of foster care progress more slowly in the labor market than other youth.  Low-income and aging-out youth in California see a larger increase in their earnings than reunified youth.

While these efforts on the part of DESS and the foster parents are badly needed, they do not come even close to providing the benefits that many children will obtain from an intact family, This means that these children and young adults, through no fault of their own, are at a distinct disadvantage not only in terms of having less opportunity to learn basic life skills in general and may be especially disadvantaged in terms of their ability to transition to a competitive academic setting.

This is where the Guardian Professions Program may provide the difference between success and failure in the academic setting. The program was initially made possible by a $450,000 dollar grant form the Stuart Foundation along with support from Sleep Train, the Kronick, Moskowvits, Tiedmann and Firard law firm, and the California Wellness Foundation. The program is designed to provide emotional, academic and financial support to former foster youth. This is one of a series of programs at UCD for foster youth in need of additional support.

These include :

  • Cal Aggie Camp, founded in 1961 and maintained by UCD philanthropy, which serves more than 150 children from the foster care system and underserved communities at summer camps at no cost to parents, agencies, or foster parents.
  • Guardian Scholars, which provides comprehensive services to maximize educational opportunities for former foster youth seeking undergraduate degrees.
  • The Guardian Teacher Scholarship, which supports former foster youth seeking a career in teaching in California.
  • The Guardian Professions Program, which provides funding to students pursuing any advanced degree.

My view of these programs is that they are sorely needed, and given that, as of 2014, there appears to be only one in existence, we are failing dramatically at providing these kinds of services through philanthropy alone. Even as an alumni of UCD, I was unaware of the existence of this program. Since we are seeking to leverage the academic excellence and financial potential of the university to provide additional financial benefit to the city, would it not be worth our efforts to help support our youth through the local support of this program and encourage its expansion to other universities ? Perhaps we could think more broadly of UCD as a leader not only in agriculture , biology, medicine, and other academic disciplines, but also in its support of some of our most disadvantaged youth and promote the expansion of these efforts as much as we are promoting our economic success.

About The Author

Tia is a graduate of UCDMC and long time resident of Davis who raised her two now adult children here. She is a local obstetrician gynecologist with special interests in preventive medicine and public health and safety. All articles and posts written by Tia are reflective only of her own opinions and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of her partners or her employer.

Related posts

27 thoughts on “Foster Care and Beyond”

  1. South of Davis

    It won’t fix all the problems in America, but if the government forces guys to take care of their kids things will get a lot better. My plan would require guys to live in a dorm setting (run by former USMC drill instructors) that teach job skills until the guys make enough to live on their own and support their kids.

    Under our current system where the government does not do anything to guys that don’t take care of their kids (as long as they work off the books).  I know Tia with grown kids gets happy every time her taxes go up, but since I’m still trying to support a large family on one income, I resent having to tell my kids that I’m working another weekend so I can pay for the Pop Tarts this guy won’t buy for his kids:

    “Jay Williams, the most fertile, least accountable person in America. He has fathered an astounding 34 children with 17 different women. ”

     

    1. Don Shor

      “Jay Williams, the most fertile, least accountable person in America. He has fathered an astounding 34 children with 17 different women. ”

      That represents at least 34 very poor decisions by 18 different people. I agree it would be great to try to collect what he owes for that, but the whole thing would be moot if all 34 of those decisions had been accompanied by effective birth control.

    2. Davis Progressive

      it’s easy to legislate by hyperbole.  the question is whether jay williams represents something that is real or a over-publicized case.

      i’ll repeat what i wrote in the other thread: conservatives have bought into the reagan welfare queen argument when they should really consider the more pernicious impact of drugs which are used to self-medicate depression and other untreated mental illnesses.
      the other problem with your argument is your failure to account for the impact of your policies on innocent children who are right now being severely neglected.  the long term costs to treat and incarcerate said children are far more than dealing with the issues up front.
      to me at least, that’s the far more serious problem.  you want people who can’t even take care of themselves to take care of vulnerable young lives, sounds good in theory but loses a lot when you start having to meet with the people.

      1. South of Davis

        > it’s easy to legislate by hyperbole.  the question is whether

        > jay williams represents something that is real or a over-publicized case.

        As far as I know “Jay Williams” is a real guy, and yes I picked him over the (more common) guy with two kids from two moms to make a point.  The sad truth is we have “something real” and a real BIG problem when “most” (more than half) kids are born out of wedlock than to married parents in the US today.  I’m not a bible thumper that is worried about the “sin” aspect, I’m just a realist that has been around a lot of people and I can’t think of a single non-married guy who had a kid that wanted the kid (it is amazing how the birth control pill is 99.99% effective for smart 29 year old women but drops to about 75% effective for the same smart women who are 39 and living with a guy who has not to buying en engagement ring after a few years).  I also know a lot of married guys that “wanted” kids that are bad parents, but sadly just about every guy that “didn’t want” kids is a bad parent (if they are around at all)…

        > conservatives have bought into the reagan welfare queen argument

        > when they should really consider the more pernicious impact of drugs

        > which are used to self-medicate depression and other untreated

        > mental illnesses.

        I’m no Regan fan (singe he was the one that started us down the lower taxes, increase spending and borrow the difference path of doom we are on now), I’m not a Jack Kemp fan either, but I do like one of his quotes, “Let’s provide a safety net not a hammock”.  I want to help people get off drugs and help people (and their kids) get through a tough time, but I don’t see why we need to spend $500K+ per unit to build luxury apartments for the poor with granite counter tops like “New Harmony” in Davis that has a parking lot where ALL the cars are newer than mine.  I’ve known people with drug and alcohol problems and as long as they have a nice place to live, an EBT card and a check coming to pay the cable TV the lower the chance that they decide to start working the 12 steps to get clean and sober.  If we really cared about “helping” the poor (vs. the current system that gives billions to politically connected land owners, contractors, managers and non profits and for profits to build and run “affordable housing” programs and give Pop Tarts to our kids) why not have them live in a dorm like setting where they get the help they need (along with good healthy food) to work toward supporting themselves and their families?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          SOD, I think you may only have 1/3 of the facts.

          Ronald Reagan cut taxes and thousands of loopholes. With this, tax rates dropped by revenues skyrocketed. Reagan cut a deal with Tip O’Neil whereby tax rates would drop, and there would also be some reductions in spending. Walla… the spending cuts never came (some argue they never do). We still had a dramatic increase in revenues.

          I have read articles where 60 years ago in San Francisco you had to have a job to qualify for assisted housing, which was for a finite duration. They didn’t want freeloaders, and they didn’t want to make people comfortable.

        2. South of Davis

          TBD wrote:

          > Reagan cut a deal with Tip O’Neil whereby tax rates would drop,

          > and there would also be some reductions in spending. Walla…

          > the spending cuts never came

          Thanks for the partisan Republican version of the story, and keep in mind I was a big Regan fan in my youth (and still have a photo of myself with Regan and GHW Bush taken in ’88 when I was working at a Bush campaign event) but as I got to know people deep inside politics (Congressional staffers) I learned that Regan always knew the spending cuts would never come, and didn’t care.  Just like the GOP controlled House could have ended Obamacare by cutting the funding Regan could have vetoed every bill sent to his desk until he got the cuts he was promised. The fastest way for a Republican or Democrat to get voted out is to take something away from people (so don’t expect any real cuts no mater who get’s elected on Tuesday)…

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          But you don’t argue the fact of an enormous increase in revenues, and an economic explosion that fueled our economy for 30 years while Europe was left in a malaise. We had job growth of over 700,000 per month during the Reagan Recovery.

          In response to your anecdote:

          “To make it more palatable for Reagan, O’Neill offered a three-to-one ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. On that basis — that the deal, on paper, was designed to result in a net shrinking of government — Reagan and enough Republicans signed on, over the strong objections of many anti-tax conservatives in the Republican ranks.
          “Thus was concluded the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA), signed into law in September 1982. In hindsight, Reagan came to see the deal as one of the biggest domestic errors of his presidency. The tax increases went into effect immediately but as Reagan wrote in his memoirs, “later the Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts,” so there was no shrinking in the size of government, and no taming of the deficit.”
          http://humanevents.com/2012/12/03/lesson-for-fiscal-cliff-negotiators-the-reagan-oneill-1982-tax-hike/

          1. Don Shor

            He also increased defense spending by more than 40% (in constant dollars) over the course of his presidency. Not sure now what all of this has to do with foster care, except tangentially: that Reagan’s overall budget goals included reductions in social welfare spending. In his early budgets, Reagan proposed reductions in all categories of spending except for defense.

        4. Tia Will Post author

          the birth control pill is 99.99% effective for smart 29 year old women but drops to about 75% effective for the same smart women who are 39 and living with a guy who has not to buying en engagement ring after a few years)”

          The birth control pills is not 99% effective for anyone. Multiple studies put the effectiveness of the birth control pill at around 95 %. User error accounts for much of the actual decline from the theoretical 99% effectiveness. Birth control sabotage happens going both ways ( the woman not taking the pill and the man sabotaging a condom) whenever there is a discrepancy in the desire for children between a couple. Both men and women psychologically pressure the other for their preferred family size. The view that it is women that “trap” men into marriage is as outdated today as my example of teaching as a stop on the way to marriage was the other day.

          As a gynecologist, I have had a front row seat of the changing dynamic of women wanting fewer children and men choosing to hold on to the relationship, or attempt to sabotage their wives independence with babies.

  2. SODA

    Hi Tia

    This is SODA, most definitely NOT SOD this time.  I was aware of this when my husband was a CASA a number of years ago for a foster child and the CASA organization arranged for the CASAs and children to visit UCD ad hear about the program from the UCD students.  It was motivating for all.  And it must be a different program at UCD which works with certain high schools in the area to promote, motivate and prepare students to apply to UCD often students who are the first in their families to attend college.

    Lastly my son teaches at a ‘small school’ within Berkeley High where the students remain together for the 4 yrs and teachers have them a number of times in order to provide community and motivation to finish and go on.

    Do these programs cost money? Of course, but I for one applaud the various efforts to increase the value and purpose of education in these ways.  Many of us were blessed to have comfortable childhoods with role models of education. Not all are as lucky and yet most parents would want this for their children. I feel these programs help achieve that.

  3. Tia Will Post author

    South of Davis

    I believe that what your posts illustrates is the difference in our focus. Your focus is on “forcing” someone to do something. Although you have frequently demonstrated that you do not like to be dictated to.

    My focus is on the children and their appropriate care. My interest is in breaking what I fully acknowledge is a cycle of poverty, ineffective parenting, inadequate nutrition, illiteracy and low expectations. One can chant the mantra of “its the responsibility of the parent” all one wants. This approach still fails the children. It is the child that I want to see succeed. Many of the parents whether through drugs, lack of perception the possibility or will to succeed, lack of skills, true disability …..are beyond are capacity to help improve their situation. Their children are not and I believe that is where we should focus our efforts.

    I know Tia with grown kids gets happy every time her taxes go up, but since I’m still trying to support a large family on one income, I resent having to tell my kids that I’m working another weekend so I can pay for the Pop Tarts this guy won’t buy for his kids.”

    “Tia felt exactly the same way as she does now when she was the sole support of 6 individuals ( including my own two children)”.  The way I explained it to my children is that those of us fortunate enough to have a job, have the responsibility to support our country. If you resent explaining it as having to pay for Pop Tarts to your kids, then don’t. Explain that you are doing it to pay your share for the benefits of living in the US. If you consider those to be the health care system that Frankly insists on calling the “best in the world” explain it that way. If you consider the United States to be the leader of the “free world” explain that you are supporting that. If you feel that we enjoy more freedoms, or the best legal system, or the most powerful military, explain it that way. No one is forcing you to present your need to work in the most negative light possible to your children.

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > I believe that what your posts illustrates is the difference in our focus.

      >Your focus is on “forcing” someone to do something.

      If I see a guy beating a small child I will “force” him to stop while others might “try and understand why he is beating the kid”… 

      > Tia felt exactly the same way as she does now when she was the sole

      > support of 6 individuals ( including my own two children)

      Tia is a MD and make more than most people, Tia has also  mentioned many times that the father of your children is also a MD so I’m guessing she was getting some child support (vs having a wife who spends more on kids clothes in a year than I spend in a decade for my own clothes).

      I have no problem paying taxes for most things, but it rubs me the wrong way (as a guy that has worked every day since he was 14) to pay for so many people that just don’t feel like working (and to see America falling apart as more and more kids grow up without a Dad and less and less kids work).

      My favorite book in the past few years was “Coming Apart” and it is people like Tia that have a “good heart” and I know want to help that are actually causing more problems than they fix and the “government” takes over for “Dad”…

      http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Apart-State-America-1960-2010/dp/030745343X

      1. Tia Will Post author

        SOD

        the father of your children is also a MD so I’m guessing she was getting some child support”

        Well, you would bet wrong again. The “child support” I got was $25.00 per week. Don’t even ask. It was either that or I would have been paying child support to him while keeping the kids myself ( by my choice). Our “family justice system” is a marvel of intricacy and numeric games.  But never fear, it is always entertaining to see what completely incorrect “bets” and assumptions you will make about my past and current circumstances, so please don’t stop.

        1. South of Davis

          I wrote:

          > I’m guessing she (Tia) was getting some child support

          Then Tia wrote:

          > Well, you would bet wrong again.

          > The “child support” I got was $25.00 per week.

          I know Tia has said “she is not good with numbers”  (and she didn’t say if it was total or per kid) but most people would agree with me that getting $300 a year is “getting some child support” (it is more “child support” cash than I have ever received from anyone).

          P.S. if an MD was able to make it this long without paying more than $300 in child support to you in a single year (and not pay a penny toward college for the kids) you probably didn’t have a very good attorney…

          1. Don Shor

            > The “child support” I got was $25.00 per week.

            I know Tia has said “she is not good with numbers” (and she didn’t say if it was total or per kid) but most people would agree with me that getting $300 a year is “getting some child support”

            I guess she’s not the only one who’s not good with numbers.

        2. DavisBurns

          Tia, Wow! You got more than me for child support but I think I may have the record at $75 per month per child for a total of $150 and I could never get it increased for various reasons none of which included he didn’t have the money.

           

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      SOD, we all know that we have subgroups that have forsaken traditional American family values, and those that embrace traditional American family values.

      In this second group I’d include Jewish-, Nigerian, Korean-, Japanese-, Vietnamese-, and Ethiopian-Americans. My own experiences with volunteer work in the Tenderloin, and those whom I know who work in social services, we have very few of these individuals who need assistance. Yet we rarely teach these values anymore.

  4. tj

    Actually, most people want to work, but some lack the mental and emotional skills that are needed to find and hold steady work.   People may look okay, but that doesn’t mean they are okay.  We should be glad that we are able work and provide for ourselves.

    And the more prosecutions there are, the fewer people who can find employment.

  5. TrueBlueDevil

    Two articles dealing with “core issues” in raising our children, yet scant mention of a central issue, the choice of adults to cast aside a traditional family structure which has proven successful for centuries. We are a wealthy first-world nation with free education, top health care, and a (relatively) robust economy and infrastructure. But facts show that a large percentage of the children that grown up in a single-parent household are subject to a variety of social struggles and ills.

    President Obama has even lectured on this several times. Where would he be without his loving grandparents?

    The sexual revolution, new morals, new choices, and new programs have helped to allow this development. It is a lightning rod that no one wants to talk about, no one wants to “judge”, but then children suffer the consequences.

    Some argue that the Left wants this; they want more dependence on social programs so that they continue to wield political power. Single mothers tend to vote Democrat; married women tend to vote GOP. Subgroups that continue to excel in America – Japanese-, Korean-, Ethiopian-, Nigerian-Americans – establish these traditional families.

    We have new constructs that the Left seems unwilling to discuss. We have the “super educated” marrying each other, which bestows advantages to their children; and we have the new “multi-partner fertility” (i.e., the ‘baby mama’ syndrome) which happens on the other end of the spectrum. This isn’t about race, which is so over discussed.  Eric Holder married a super educated woman, as did our president, as did President Clinton. Few or any of their children will struggle.

    For the record, I’m all for helping foster children, and I think it’s tough to toss them out on their own at 18. I also don’t think we need to craft social programs for them until they are 28.

    1. Don Shor

      It’s best for children to grow up in a two-income household, for the rather obvious reason that it reduces the likelihood of poverty. But as noted in the president’s case, those two making the income can be grandparents. Or it can be a same-sex couple. Or it can be two unrelated adults.
      It is certainly better to have more money providing for the needs of the children. Children cause poverty, almost by definition: the living wage for a single adult in Yolo County is about $11/hour, but if you add a child the living wage required is over $20/hour. So delaying childbearing until financially stable seems like a good goal for individuals and for us to encourage. Which means good access to inexpensive, effective birth control.

    2. Tia Will Post author

      TBD

      For the record, I’m all for helping foster children, and I think it’s tough to toss them out on their own at 18. I also don’t think we need to craft social programs for them until they are 28.”

      What do you think that we should do for them ?

       

  6. Don Shor

    Youth who do work begin to do so early. Youth were more likely to earn income for the first time during the four quarters prior to and the quarter of their eighteenth birthday than in the 2 years following. For youth who exited foster care by aging out, half in California had earnings prior to their eighteenth birthday.

    I would note that if you increase the minimum wage you will reduce the likelihood that these young adults will be able to get jobs as teenagers. Making a lower minimum wage for teenagers would help to reduce the “undesirable outcomes” listed above.

  7. Tia Will Post author

    As with any child support, my children’s came only when he cared to pay it, $25 per week for the two ( not each) and he didn’t care to pay it whenever I made a financial decision he didn’t like such as letting the kids participate in competitive sports or ongoing music lessons. His rationale ?  “She can afford it. ” A true statement, but as completely devoid of acceptance of responsibility as any “dead beat”parent.

  8. Tia Will Post author

    TBD

    Two articles dealing with “core issues” in raising our children, yet scant mention of a central issue, the choice of adults to cast aside a traditional family structure which has proven successful for centuries.”

    I agree with you that it is the individual decisions of adults that create one of the core issues in the care of children. However, unless you want the government running a program determining who is and who is not fit to have children ( remember anyone could fit the criteria of “unfit” depending on the group in power) then we are inevitably going to have some children who are not taken care of adequately. This was also true when I was growing up well before “the sexual revolution, new morals and new programs”. I had some very poor and some ( in retrospect) doubtless neglected classmates growing up. My concern is how best to care for these children who will always be with us unless we as a society define a comprehensive plan for taking care of them. I prefer to focus my efforts on the care of the children rather than trying to shape adults into something they are not. I also would prefer to focus my efforts on that which I can change, for example providing easily accessible affordable  contraception, rather than that which I cannot, namely the behavior of adolescents and adults in their own bedrooms.

    The idea of a bootcamp for non supportive parents may sound good until you realize what it would actually cost. What is being proposed is a windfall for those running the “boot camp” and those enforcing the stay within its walls. “Boot camp” now becomes a euphemism for incarceration of those who have not made what we consider to be responsible reproductive choices.  Now you are paying with tax dollars not only for the children but for their mothers and fathers as well.  Add to this that there is no guarantee that they will ever have enough earning potential to support their children and all you have done is create yet another incarcerated group to support.

  9. Tia Will Post author

    To those of you who would use an economic criteria for parenthood let me ask you some nuts and bolts questions.

    Don has put forth the suggestion that it takes $20/hr to be able to support oneself and one’s child. I see this as a bit rosy given that I believe that it is making the assumption that this amount is provided by one breadwinner leaving the other home to care for the child, but working with this number, I have the following questions.

    1. Who is going to determine who is eligible to have or keep a child ? Are you going to create a separate government bureaucracy to monitor whose wages meet criteria and whose do not ?

    2. What happens to the child or children if the parent loses their job or becomes unable to work ? Let’s take the example of a staunch Catholic family. Mom at home with the kids, dad makes $22 dollars an hour. Ooops…. loses the job. Now what ? No sex for you ? Boot camp? Kids have to go into foster care ?

    3. Will this apply to everyone equally, or only those judged unfit by whomever you choose to put in charge ?

    4. Who gets to decide on what the minimal amount per hour wage is to be able to keep your children ? Should we let the decision be made based on current minimum wage, on the poverty level or some percentage thereof, or what if we let those who clearly have enough to support their children at higher levels decide ? Where should we draw the line ? Do I , as a “wealthy doctor” get to decide based on my standards of what is adequate for children to have ? Do we let multi-millionaires or billionaires decide  in which case as many as “47%”of us might be found ineligible to have or keep our children…… ok, tongue in cheek, guys.

    For those who support a “boot camp” type arrangement, how much is your proposal going to cost us per year to set up and maintain and how do you propose to keep the internees in the camp ? Are you proposing armed guards ? Are you now defining sexual activity outside what you believe to be the correct social format a crime for which one can be incarcerated ? What do you suppose that does to the idea of individual freedom which seems to be very cherished by our conservative posters ( at least if it is freedoms that they believe that we should not be messing with, such as the right to smoke or green litter or have free plastic bags).

     

  10. KSmith

    You are raising several excellent points that I’m interested in seeing addressed by the posters who brought up this idea.

    I think the idea of a “boot camp” (much like the Magdalene Laundries and similar institutions that operated right here in the US) absolutely defines sexual activity outside of the correct social format (Judeo-Christian marriage, namely) a crime.

    I think one change that would see a drop in the numbers of people having children before they are able to care for them adequately is to completely re-vamp the sexual and reproductive health curriculum in this country. If we started in junior high (or maybe even a bit earlier) openly talking about aspects of sexuality that many people just do not want to address (specifically, the fact that the vast majority of people do not use sexual relations to procreate, but for pleasure and emotional involvement), including medically-accurate and scientifically-based information on forms of contraception and protection from STIs, I think there would be a drastic reduction in this sort of thing.

    But, I have my doubts that this will happen because of pearl-clutchers and people who want to impose their religious viewpoints on others. So many people say: “It’s not the school’s job to teach this–let the parents do it,” but so many parents (even well-educated parents of Davis) are uncomfortable talking to their children about sex and sexual health that it either just doesn’t get done at all, or the information is so incomplete as to be useless.

    Plus, many of them think in terms of The Talk, when it should be an ongoing dialogue over the course of many years to provide this information and give kids/teens a framework within which to think about various forms of sexual activity, what the consequences might be, and whether or not they are yet ready to engage in such activities.

    And, of course, abstinence-only education just flat-out doesn’t work. That has been demonstrated time and time again, not to mention the psychological ramifications of thinking of one’s body and what one does with it as “filthy,” “dirty,” and “unpure.”

     

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for