The Lives of Our Clients

December 6, 2023

The Struggle for Stability

In my previous role as a case manager, I often witnessed parents struggling to raise their children and achieve stability.  Unfortunately, as stated by one mother in the following article there is a feeling that “the system is set up for you to fail.” In other words, families who become entangled in the child welfare system are already facing multiple systemic inequalities such as poverty, racism, discrimination, etc. Court ordered mandates usually have a price attached to it which many families simply cannot afford, exacerbating their stress levels, health, socio-economic status, and making it even more difficult to keep families together. Therefore, it was a relief learning that starting January 1, dependency court judges will now have to consider the socio-economic status of parents when creating service plans.

LA County Tackles Long Standing Problem of Parents Unable to Attend Court Ordered Programs: Article (click here to read full article)

Although this bill will not necessarily take away the financial burden that comes from taking certain mandated classes or services (e.g., anger management class, substance abuse classes, therapy, etc.), it is a step in the right direction. As service providers in the helping professions, we must pay attention to the ways our structures and policies have historically and continue to contradict the values and mission we put forward, such as advancing the health and stability of our most vulnerable populations. Therefore, macro level work such as bill legislation and policy change are also an important aspect we must increasingly engage in because children and families deserve better.

Thank you 😊

-Susana Gonzalez, Penny Lane Centers