Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Minimum Sufficient Level of Care

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I've been training to be a Guardian ad Litem. In classes, we discussed what is called the Minimum Sufficient Level of Care.  The term means, in case you don't know, the basic needs of the child are met in the home.  In other words, children will typically be left in a home that offers adequate and essentially safe food, shelter, clothing, and faciliities for personal hygiene. 

I have to admit that I have had some difficulty in believing such a low standard as acceptable.  Maybe it's because I know of homes in which this is exactly what the the children receive from their parents:  the minimum.  I understand not everyone has the same financial ability to provide for his or her family.  That's not the issue.  The house being large or small, mansion or log cabin isn't, in my eyes, important.  What does seem to be vital to a child's care is having an involved, interested parent making an effort to guide and protect his son or daughter.  For me, when that isn't available to the child, the standard of care is not minimal. 

However I maybe feel, I do realize that my personal feelings are irrelevant.  I must understand and comply with the established definitions. I believe I can do this, but I will ask the program's supervisor to keep an eye on me.  I don't want to be judge and jury.  A child who has been removed from a parent suffers from the separation.  He or she nearly always wants to go home to be with their mom or dad, and I would never intentionally want to make a kid's anxiety worse.

So what do I want?  A change in our standards, that's all.  Is it really asking too much for parents to spend time loving and teaching their children?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i agree... change the standards AND i think it could be a great tool to offer/demand (i am not sure how far i'd be willing to go with that) different classes for parents to learn how to communicate, how to encourage, how to discipline (although most would not agree with me on this one), how to help with school work, how to become more effective and organized. So many mom's just don't know how...b/c many of their mom's didn't now how.