1. NO POVERTY

Fixing Kansas’ child welfare system requires the voices of families ‘closest to the pain’ – Kansas Reflector

Fixing Kansas’ child welfare system requires the voices of families ‘closest to the pain’ – Kansas Reflector
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Fixing Kansas’ child welfare system requires the voices of families ‘closest to the pain’  Kansas Reflector

Solving Problems Faced by Kansans: A Report on the Special Committee on Restricted Driving Privileges

Fixing Kansas’ child welfare system requires the voices of families ‘closest to the pain’ – Kansas Reflector

Introduction

“Those closest to the pain should be closest to the power.” This quote from U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts emphasizes the importance of considering the experiences of those most affected by policies and laws. In Kansas, the Special Committee on Restricted Driving Privileges is currently considering a proposal related to drivers’ licenses for unpaid tickets and fines. However, the current policies and laws disproportionately harm individuals living in poverty, who cannot afford to lose their driving privileges. This report explores the need for change in these laws and the impact it can have on individuals and families.

The Impact of Current Policies

Current policies and laws that restrict, revoke, or suspend drivers’ licenses for unpaid tickets and fines have a detrimental effect on individuals living in poverty. Taking away their means of earning a living only further penalizes them for their inability to pay fines. This creates additional hardships for these individuals and their households. To address this issue, it is crucial to consider factors such as access to alternate transportation methods and proximity to resources that meet basic needs.

The Need for Change

Both legislative and non-legislative voices recognize the need for change in these policies and laws. Constituents have expressed their concerns, highlighting the negative impact on individuals and families. By considering the experiences and needs of those most affected, policymakers can work towards creating more equitable and sustainable solutions.

Parallel Experiences in Child Protective Services

The challenges faced by families reported to child protective services (CPS) mirror those experienced by individuals affected by the driving privileges policies. Families often come into contact with CPS due to a lack of adequate resources to address their needs. However, the tasks and requirements imposed on these families are often unrelated to the reason for their referral and only add to their crisis. This punitive approach perpetuates myths about families living in poverty and further destabilizes them.

“Families are forced to use limited resources to meet requirements that have nothing to do with their child’s placement, and everything to do with assumptions about their response to the unique challenges of each situation.”

– Tara Wallace

The Burden on Families

There are no laws, policies, or regulations in Kansas that require families to complete unnecessary tasks unrelated to their child’s placement. These tasks, such as drug tests, anger management, budgeting, parenting classes, and psychiatric evaluations, place an additional burden on families already struggling physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Research indicates that child welfare disproportionately affects minority families living in poverty, making it even more crucial to address these unnecessary requirements.

The Importance of Voices

Kerrie Lonard from the Division of the Child Advocate emphasizes the need for collective efforts to fix the broken child welfare system. Every voice, especially those whose lives are forever changed by these policies and practices, must be heard. Generational trauma is perpetuated when policies and biased behavior fail to understand the realities of poverty. It is essential to approach these issues with integrity, questioning our motives and biases, in order to work with families rather than against them.

Conclusion

In order to create positive change and address the challenges faced by Kansans, it is crucial to prioritize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By considering the experiences of those most affected, policymakers can work towards more equitable and sustainable solutions. It is through collective efforts and a commitment to understanding that we can create a better future for all.

Tara D. Wallace is a licensed clinician and trauma therapist in Topeka. Through its opinion section, Kansas Reflector works to amplify the voices of people who are affected by public policies or excluded from public debate. Find information, including how to submit your own commentary, here.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 1: No Poverty
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 1.3: Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.
  • SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • SDG 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.
  • SDG 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator for SDG 1.3: Proportion of population covered by social protection floors/systems, by sex, distinguishing children, unemployed persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, work-injury victims and the poor and vulnerable.
  • Indicator for SDG 5.1: Proportion of women and girls subjected to sexual harassment, by type of perpetrator.
  • Indicator for SDG 10.2: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and disability.
  • Indicator for SDG 16.3: Proportion of victims of violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized mechanisms.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 1: No Poverty SDG 1.3: Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable. Proportion of population covered by social protection floors/systems, by sex, distinguishing children, unemployed persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, work-injury victims and the poor and vulnerable.
SDG 5: Gender Equality SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. Proportion of women and girls subjected to sexual harassment, by type of perpetrator.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities SDG 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status. Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and disability.
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions SDG 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all. Proportion of victims of violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized mechanisms.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: kansasreflector.com

 

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