The Government Wants Your Child

I saw this story a couple of days ago and haven’t done anything with it yet. Sandy over at Junkfood Science beat me to it, and in a more comprehensive way than I could have.

Family home visits

The idea is inconceivable that government agents would come into homes to evaluate if parents are feeding and caring for their children properly; screen children and family situations to identify parenting practices, children’s weights or social-emotional development that fall short of state-approved standards; and report those children and parents for case management and treatment. For Americans who don’t follow legislation and public health policies, even talk of such programs might be considered conspiracy theories. Last year, two Acts were introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives that would grant the federal government unprecedented control over parenting and implement state home visits, targeting military families and poor families first. This week, these Acts were scheduled for debate.

Dr. Karen Effrem, M.D., is a pediatrician and researcher who has been following legislation that affects parental rights and the health of children. She wrote an article this week describing the lack of scientific validity and efficacy, costs, dangers and implications for parents, children and healthcare provider of the proposals in these pieces of legislations. This issue has little to do with politics but more the cautionary insights it offers about even well-meaning public health programs.

Read the FULL STORY here.

There are two bills being considered at this time:

H.R. 3289: PRE-K Act state preschool programs that puts the federal government in charge of what children learn and implements services to support healthy child development.

H.R. 2343: Education Begins at Home Act directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to fund a State early childhood home visitation program and the Secretary of Defense to fund early home visitations for military families.

Dr. Effrem’s article, U.S. House Democrats Work to Mentally Screen, can be found here.

Two bills which recently passed the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee and are headed for floor debate clearly illustrate the insatiable appetite that the radicals in charge of Congress have for control over the hearts and minds of our nation’s youngest children. HR 3289, the Providing Resources Early for Kids Act of 2008 (PRE-K Act), puts the federal government in charge of what children will learn in preschool programs. HR 2343, the Education Begins at Home Act, sets up invasive home visiting programs.

~snip~

The Pre-K Act and its focus on the mental screening of young children is ironic from at least two standpoints. First, despite claims of its proponents, early childhood programs are not effective and several studies have shown evidence of academic and or emotional harm. For instance, illiteracy rates have actually increased in New Jersey where preschool for poor children was court ordered. And, data from several national studies and surveys performed by the federal government have shown very significant increases in defiant, disobedient, and aggressive behavior, as well as impaired social skills in children who are attend preschool and child care compared to children raised at home.

~snip~

The second irony is that while Congress is promoting increased mental screening of young children, at least one member of New Freedom Commission, the group that first started publicly promoting the unscientific and dangerous idea of mentally screening young children, is having second thoughts. Dr. Daniel Fisher stated in a letter to the Boston Globe dated 10/3/07:

~snip~

For a detailed discussion of the many problems with home visiting programs, please see Dr. Karen Effrem’s written testimony to Congress about this bill.

These two bills are rather frightening in my opinion and just reinforce my joy over not being a young parent anymore.

If these bills pass………….there will be NO stopping the government from going further until they are actually in our bedrooms and bathrooms with us.

THIS is NOT what our founding fathers envisioned for this new country they fought so hard for.

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~ by swfreedomlover on August 1, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Government Wants Your Child”

  1. You hit the nail on the head with regards to some of the privacy issues raised by this bill and highlighted in the article.

    However, the goal of the bill is simply to provide funding for state programs that are already in place. There is no part of this bill that has the federal government or its officials coming to your house or providing parenting instructions.

    Unfortunately, children of military families upon whom we rely to defend this great nation of ours, and children of impoverished families are generally at greater risk of suffering from child abuse and undiagnosed medical conditions which can hamper their development, hinder their education and perpetuate the cycle of poverty and ignorance.

    Fortunately, there exist state programs to provide assistance to the parents–predominantly the mothers who bear a disproportionately larger amount of the child-rearing responsibility than do their more affluent or non-military sisters.

    These state programs provide mothers with information on the health and well-being of their child, modeling, consulting and coaching in parenting practices and to recognize and seek help for issues related to health, developmental delays, and social, emotional, and behavioral skills.

    While you and I neither want nor need parenting advice from an external agency (including but not limited to our mother-in-laws), trust me, these programs provide great benefit for poorer families. I don’t know if you’ve experienced how poor people raise their children, but trust me, it isn’t pretty.

    The good news is that these programs are effective in helping the strength of the family and the health of the child–something liberals and conservatives can agree on. This according to a study published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    One such program is Nurse-Family Partnership which is described on none other than Laura Bush’s website http://www.helpingamericasyouth.gov/. Also note that in a majority of these programs, the person visiting the home is nurse–not Big Brother!

    After reading the description of this program, I ask you to please reconsider your opinion that federal funding for it would be wrong. If anything, please realize that this bill will benefity our military as well–while Daddy’s away defending our freedom, Mom could use a helping hand rasing Jr.–please help her out!

    Richard

  2. While I see your point and can agree with it to a degree; I’m afraid I just don’t trust those in charge to NOT abuse this and take it further. I’m not just looking at the now, but down the road. I CAN see the government tightening the reigns more and more until they ARE in your house.

    I grew up poor. So did my mother….dirt poor actually in her case. Maybe my mother is just weird then for she raised us just fine doing the best she could do with what little she had?

    I do understand your point on the poor though as I have seen it. I don’t know why it is that way but I have seen it.

    While I support such a program on one hand………..in the end the government will kill it as it is and turn it into your worst nightmare.

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