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$500 New Baby Grant For Low Income Families

Discussion in 'Politics and Gov Discussions' started by Shadowhunter, May 6, 2015.

  1. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    The Facts:


    • The Baby Care Assistance Initiative is a grant of $500 designed to assist underprivileged parents in providing adequate nutrition and care to an infant (0-12 months old).


    • The grant may be paid for a maximum period of 1 year per infant during the period of the project (October 2014 to September 2015).


    • Parents and or primary caregivers with a combined monthly income of three thousand dollars ($3000) or less with a child born during the period October 1, 2014 ? September 30, 2015 are eligible for this grant.


    • The $500 monthly baby care grant will be expanded to include single fathers.

    [Sources: Trinidad Express, ttonline]


    [​IMG]


    While I commend the PM on creating this initiative, I have to say this is greatly flawed.


    Examples:


    • The PM said she was inspired by news of a mother stealing a tin of formula. A lot of mothers are misinformed about breast milk vs. formula milk. Perhaps including education on this matter as part of pregnancy care in both private and public health facilities can provide some assistance. The vast majority of women are able to exclusively breastfeed their children and are incorrectly pressured by friends, family etc to give their children formula milk to replace or supplement perfectly available breast milk unnecessarily. Formula is great for the minority of women that cannot breastfeed, for babies with clefts and other similar issues etc. but in many cases, the money spent on formula and accessories in unnecessary and is enforced because many do not know better. If it is necessary, why can't hospitals supply it directly to better monitor and ensure it is being given and used?


    • For low income families, parents must provide for themselves as well. Chances are, families that do no use or understand birth control will keep having children they cannot care for. A $500 allowance will not help much for them, especially only for a year. Children continue growing and their needs are greater after the first year. What happens when a starving mother has to choose between buying milk and diapers or buying food for the whole family? What happens to those families after the child's first birthday, when the child has even more needs?


    • Unless this money is given in the form of specified checks or smart cards, there's no guarantee that the money will be used for new babies. What happens when an alcoholic parent or drug addict relative finds a way to turn the grant into a source for their next bottle of rum?


    • In Trinidad, mothers have to supply their own hospital necessities. To give birth in a public hospital, the list is even more extensive and the hospital staff usually confiscates any items that are not used from the mother's bag. The first grant allowance might be used to cover or repay those expenses, setting a way of living in debt/on credit in motion, forcing the child's continuous needs to take a backseat.




    I would suggest that the PM incorporate some foreign practices here.


    • To really make a difference, child assistance should begin from the fetal stage and continue until the child is old enough for school at least. In the U.S. there is a W.I.C. program that issues specified checks to expectant mothers covering basic grocery items to ensure the mother meets some, if not all of her nutritional needs to give the unborn child a healthy foundation. Once the child is born, this extends to the child's needs until the age of 5. There is also a benefit card lasting close to the same time for mothers in need (one per child) that can be used for groceries as well or cashed at ATMS for clothing, diapers, etc (which is the hope!).


    • In many countries, wellness check ups are mandatory through the pregnancy and after the child is born. Both the mother's and the child's health are prioritized. This ensures both mother and child are healthy and meeting nutritional guidelines and gives practitioners a chance to see if any mothers are in need and require case workers, public assistance etc. After birth, mothers are required to come back for their own health check ups and their newborn babies repeatedly. This greatly cuts down on undetected infections or post birth complications, and can identify any health conditions that require attention and or assistance with medication, treatment etc. There are many more mandatory wellness checkups that continue throughout the child's life into adulthood. At each check up the child is given vaccines, checked for illness etc. and seen by a doctor that does a thorough check of the child's health, gives information and answers any questions, etc.


    • In many countries, mothers giving birth are given diapers, blankets, hats, formula, etc. in the hospital. Lactation consultants are available to assist mothers breastfeeding and educate them on what they need to know with regards to this. I think giving new low income mothers these things instead of expecting them to buy such items on their own will help more in preparing them. In addition to introducing programs that cover prenatal and infant nutrition this can make more of a difference.


    • Most importantly IMO, the public is not educated on a great deal of relevant matters. While this can come in handy for dedicated low income parents, many will misuse the grant. I think we should make the relevant knowledge public information and easily accessible. Health facilities can incorporate these things into their protocols and make more of a difference this way as well.




    What do you think about this? Are you in support of this grant?
     
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  3. nirtime

    nirtime Active Member

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    I do not agree with this grant as it will encourage people to make more children who aren't able to 100% provide for them.

    I agree with this because for honest people who genuinely want a child it is a great help!
     
  4. admin

    admin Administrator
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    I also do not agree with this grant, my must my hard tax paying dollars be spent on persons who not only conceive one time time by many times, having more than one child very much knowing that she is not married and can not even support one child.
    It have people out there making so much children for so much man its like they can't even keep their legs closed, i does really wonder sometimes.
     
  5. grimreaper009

    grimreaper009 Moderator
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    ^^^^That.....ppl be making children like rabbit and cant provide for 1
     
  6. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    Wait wait.....three things I'll clarify

    1. The PM says this is coming from existing profits from the energy sector; the people will not be taxed to create this grant.

    2. This is for low-income families only (total income must be less than $3,000), middle and high class are not receiving this grant.

    3. If you have a child you will see $500 barely touches the surface of providing for a child. Anyone planning to use this grant as an excuse to have more children must be giving their children away after claiming this grant in order to see a personal profit from that grant, if they aren't completely neglecting them and their needs. $500 a month is nowhere near enough to provide for a child. This does not encourage people to have children unless those children are being fully cared for by someone else. Go look at the price of formula, diapers, wipes, infant medication, hygienic supplies, baby clothes etc. If used the right way, I think this could assist low-income families in addition to their own efforts in providing for their children. Though, I still think this will not be a great help and there are better ways to help families in these situations.



    On a side note, not all single moms "get themselves pregnant" as society likes to say. Bear in mind the rapes that take place resulting in pregnancy, not only by strangers, but by significant others or people they know as well. Bear in mind women can be impregnated against their will and there are men who do this for whatever their own reasons may be.

    Consider that even in perfectly healthy consensual relationships birth control is not 100% effective in preventing pregnancy and accidents are bound to happen. Many people are unaware of emergency contraception and many are unsure about their stance on abortion even when they are faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Many sexually active people are not fully aware of all the risks sexual activity brings (pregnancy, STDs, etc). Many women are prevented from accessing birth control by abusive family members or spouses. Many women die or seriously injure themselves each year trying traditional folk methods of terminating their own pregnancies, others fail.

    Many people act out in irresponsible ways due to not receiving proper help in recovering healthily from previous traumatic experiences or similarly difficult and/or painful experiences. Many are forced on the insistence of others to have children before they are sure of what they want (parents, in-laws, etc) and are left to find a means to provide for them on their own.


    Having a child is not an overall pleasant experience; neither pregnancy nor childbirth. If a woman is intentionally popping out children like rabbits to take advantage of a grant, I would think something else was seriously wrong and an intervention by qualified professionals should be sought to provide the correct type of assistance for her and her family's situation.
     
  7. nirtime

    nirtime Active Member

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    GOod points and solid reasoning eh but we in Trini, things work differently. People gonna use this to make more children expecting it will pay for itself.
     
  8. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    The woman that will endure 42 weeks of pregnancy and however many hours/days of labor just to collect a small check needs professional help and no grant will correct that. I think mental wellness should be just as important as physical wellness, and if this becomes a protocol, doctors can act accordingly with at-risk patients to avoid those who abuse the system. Pregnancy is not just a big belly and birth is not just "it's a boy/girl". Pop culture glamorizes a lot of this but to intentionally go through this process and bring innocent lives into the world that you intend to neglect/abuse and use for monetary profit is a serious sign of mental illness, that if not addressed, will negatively impact and endanger more than one life. Some women in that position may feel it is their only/best option and lack resources and further information (and professional help!).


    Remember the mother has to eat, clothe her growing body, and has medical needs through the pregnancy. How will the grant pay for this when it does not go into effect until after the child is born, 9-10 months later? If she is engaging in this reckless behavior, she would most likely have other children that need to be fed and eventually cross the one year limit. What about them after this time period? Medical protocols and screening can rule out a lot of these things. In some cases I think it's like the old saying "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life."

    The feeding for life in this case can be psychiatric help, rehabilitation, and/or training where necessary. If newborn supplies are so needed, then they should be given and monitored by the health facilities, with regular and unscheduled mandatory home visits and facility check-ins. This grant might only be as a effective as a band-aid fix for many a gaping wound on its own.
     
  9. nirtime

    nirtime Active Member

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    honestly I does wonder how these people who always making children does cope with the Labour. That was my thought when I heard $500 grant.
     
  10. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    I've met a lot of women who have no choice in the matter. There are a lot of misogynists in our society and that reflects on our family life as a community. This is 2015 and there are still women that need to have their spouse's or family's permission to get birth control, though their consent is not required for sexual activity, as it is still considered a man's right in many circles, no consent required.

    This one takes the cake though: I met someone many, many years ago who told me that she went to get her tubes tied after deciding with her spouse that they were happy with their family size and wanted no more children. The nurse refused to give her an appointment and insisted that she should try having one more child first. I believe she had to go back or meet with someone else in order to get the appointment because the nurse was adamant. I've heard similar stories recently as well.


    Apparently these decisions are up to everyone except the women involved. So why then, are only these women to blame? IMO, a lot more needs to be fixed eg. society's mentality and enforcing whatever protocols there are supposed to be for women's rights.


    Reminds me of Amy Schumer's recent sketch on birth control. Though at the end, she should have parodied a pregnancy with all those involved condemning her for it.

    https://www.facebook.com/naralproch...81013424321/?video_source=pages_finch_trailer
     
  11. nirtime

    nirtime Active Member

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    Oh i'm aware of that but thats not what I was referring too. From your perpesctive the grant makes sense and these things do happen but it gets swept under rugs for bigger and more catching media news.
     
  12. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    Oh I see what you mean. I would support the grant totally if there was more attached to it i.e. medical screening & intervention, mandatory family planning sessions and services, home visits and facility check-ins etc. Just so on its own seems more like a political thing, especially since its only to be carried out for a short period of time. For such a limited project (October 2014 to September 2015) I don't know what exactly the government plans to get out of this (aside from some votes maybe) but IMO this little exercise is still not enough incentive for everyone to go to all the trouble and jump into babymaking for a lil change later on.
     
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