Originally posted on
        06/27/01
In My Opinion # 11
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Sandpoint
Sandpoint, Idaho:

I feel sorry for Mrs. McGuckin, her children and the judge.
From the media accounts the judge knows that this is all the
work of an over zealous social worker. However, now that it
has progressed this far, the judge must do what the written
law describes.

On T.V. there are commercials for Food Stamps. Sounds really good. Wrong! In most cases you are forced to work for your social services dept. in order to make up for your food stamps. There is nothing wrong with working, except, this is a 5-day a week full time job. While you are working this full time job, for no cash, they want you to apply ďin person onlyĒ to 12-20 new job contacts a month, even if the newspaper job ad says ďsend resume only toď you are told to track down what company it is (no phone calls please) and show up at their door (in person, uninvited) and apply for the job. Now thereís a good first impression! ďHey George, this girl wants a job here and she canít even read the ad right!Ē

I once had to ask for help and they told me my job assignment was to stand knee deep in a pool of sewer drainage with a rake to keep breaking up the feces so it wouldnít clog the drains. There are some things more precious than food, like my health and dignity, so I went without for a few more days til I could get to a food pantry where they donít ask questions.

If you donít have a car, you must take a bus. If you are not
near a bus, you are to walk to a bus line, even if it is miles
and miles from your home. Lack of transportation and no child
care are two excuses that are absolutely NOT tolerated, no
matter your circumstance. So if you are living in the middle
of nowhere, where there is no hope of transportation and no trustworthy babysitters within walking distance, you are
refused assistance and must starve. Then you are called an
unfit parent who has not taken advantage of the services
available and your children are taken away. And donít forget,
if you own your own home and run into hard times, social
services will put a lien on it in exchange for food and
medical care.

In most rural communities, if you have 20 places to apply
for work you are lucky. After you apply to them you canít
go back twice so you canít make your job contacts so you
lose your food stamps. If you get a part time job, and you
are not making the equivalent of minimum wage at 25 hours
you still must work for the social services dept. and keep
making those job contacts. Social Services will pay a small
amount only once a month to a babysitter for you. But since
they donít pay for that sitter while you are out job hunting,
you must drag your kids with you. I donít know too many
employers who like that. If you donít comply with all these conditions and more you donít get food stamps. This woman
couldnít even get cash assistance because she wasnít paying
rent.

The kids were examined and found to be in good health. They were not living in the lap of luxury, but they were happy and healthy. Instead of prosecuting her there must be ways to
help her. Gee, now that they put her in jail, they have found
her and the children some help that she doesnĎt have to give
up her firstborn for. Oh, thatís right, the social worker took
them ALL away...

In MY Opinion that social worker should be made to go through what Mrs. McGuckin had to go through to keep her family together. If she had been like so many others that had kid after kid and dumped them on social services, the agency
would have given her everything.

I repeat, I really feel sorry for Mrs. McGuckin, the children
and the judge.

JBS
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