Face Book Group Angry About Welfare

“Making Drug Tests required to Get Welfare”

It’s the new popular group I see my friends joining in my Face Book stream.  Some of them have asked why I don’t join the group.

Because I actually see Welfare moms and dads who have “substance abuse” issues, I think I can speak to this topic with some clarity.  

1. First and foremost, Welfare exists to help the children living in poverty. Those young and short and often very cute mini-American citizens have legal rights and deserve food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Even though they have never paid a penny into the tax base, they have rights to the social support systems. Denying them access to food, medical care or funds to buy clothing, toothbrushes and rent will never be humane. Yes, they are poor and hungry because their parent/parents are not providing food for them. No matter WHY the parent can not purchase food for the children, the children should not be denied their legal rights to access  food.  

2. Welfare recipients ARE screened for Substance Abuse issues. A Clinical Assessment for anyone who discloses issues with drugs and alcohol is manditory.   

These are the exact questions everyone who applies for Welfare /CalWORKS is asked:5. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking or drug use? 6. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use? 7. Have you felt bad or guilty about your drinking or drug use? 8. Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning to steady your nerves? Every client enrolled in GAIN is asked:  1. At what age did you first use alcohol? _________ 2. At what age did you first use drugs? ________   (If participant denies alcohol and drug use, skip questions 3-6) 3. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking or drug use? 4. Have you ever let friends or family down because of alcohol or drug use? 5. Have you felt bad or guilty about your drinking or drug use? 6. Has anyone else, like friends or family (mother, father, grandparents, children) expressed concern over your drinking or drug use? If someone comes into the office and is clearly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the county can mandate and assessment even if the client denies any issue.

3.In California you can not force anyone to accept medical treatment. All the County can do is force the Clinical Assessment, and sanction (reduce cash aid) a client who does not attend that appointment.

4. If you made it mandatory for parents to pass drug screening in order to receive Welfare you will reduce the number of families who come to ask for the help. That sounds like a really great plan – especially in this economic crisis. Those drugged up folks are taking tax dollars and smoking them. They are abusing funds  that other, more needy people could be using, right? Here is the catch 22. These parents with drug and alcohol issues are the parents of some of those other, more deserving citizens. Remember, this is about the children. 

5. Your next thought was that people on drugs or alcohol should not be parenting. Okay, I totally agree with you – but- who is going to raise those children? If I see a child in danger, I am a mandated reporter and I alert CFS. Every worker in the DPSS System is a mandated reporter.  I can best serve those children by guiding the parents into treatment and therapies so that they are better parents. At the same time I am directing them into employment and education so they can leave the welfare system.

One thought on “Face Book Group Angry About Welfare

  1. My daddy is a high functioning alcoholic. He has been boozing well before I was born but over the past year it has gotten tougher. Instead of beer his drink of choice is today tequila. He doesn’t booze and drive, he doesn’t booze during the day, but the second he comes home he begins making shots and doesnt finish until he passes out. It is tough to show him that there is a problem since his problem has never crossed the line of other people’s safety or his profession. My sole ammunition to show him that he has a problem is petty in comparison to the conventional alcoholic. He has harmed himself while he was boozing and he can’t remember a conversation we had the night before, but that is it.

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