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The trenches: Working in the Child Care Subsidy Unit

As a social worker in the child care subsidy department I thought I'd seen it all, but I hadn't not until the other day. I had a client call Child Protective Services on herself and risk having social services in her life well...forever, because she was so desperate for Child Care for her 3 children. Here is a single mother, working 2 jobs for minimal pay, receiving no child support of course; I would like to address that subject another time. the amount of women that come through who receive no child support is astronomical and the State does NOTHING to enforce these cases except make women feel as if they are gold diggers for calling Child Suppot (Un)Enforcement. (I had one woman say to me when I called to enforce M OWN CHILD SUPPORT CASE, "Do you want him to go to jail? How we he pay you if he's in jail! This is no place to take out your personal vendettas!" He hasn't paid a penny in 4 out of 4 years, sure he can go to jail I don't mind!...but I digress. Anyway this mother of 3, struggling desperartely to keep both her jobs called CPS on herself just to get a referral for child care subsidized funding with $0.00Parent Fee. Luckily she got what she wanted and CPS is keeping a case open on her JUST to keep her vouchers going and they are NOT PUTTING THE CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE as is the norm in those cases. These are the extremes these women go to to suppot their families. I have to turn women away every day who need child care but aren't eligible because they arent working 30 hours per week! They can't work 30 hours per week without child care! It's frustrating and personal as I too struggle to pay $150.00/week. $600.00/month in child care and the dead beat dad struggles to pay his $500.00/month car payment...poor thing I cannot imagine HIS struggle, no really, I can't.

So now I prepare for another day at the front line, In the trenches of the war for Child Care.

Shannon Kauffman

—AnonymousNorth Carolina
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