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Family Corp

Our country needs a grass roots/government volunteer organization similar to the Peace Corp but instead focusing on our OWN families....the Family Corp. This could give college graduates (and some high school) valuable work and life experience and at the same time helping families. It is difficult to give the structure that Colin Powell states that we need if you are a single parent, parents with a disabled, mentally ill, or sick child,...or a family with an elderly parent. Or a family with just a temporary situation such as an illness, recovering from an operation, loss of job, or having one parent in the military service. There are so many young capable people out there who have the energy and drive to give families more structure and make them more functional. Those extended families, although helpful in the past, are few and far between these days. Of course there needs to be training for these young adults and they could put to work any area of expertise. This would be for ALL economic levels, not just the indigent. What is a good name? Family Corp? Family Care? Who has the need for this? How many women out there are caring for kids, parents, friends, siblings, neighbors, pets, and working full time? We need more support to have structure.

  • Jan 29 2013: Don't people have friends anymore?
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      Jan 29 2013: With Socialism there is no need for friends or family. The State is your friend!
    • Jan 30 2013: Ana, maybe it shouldn't be a government program. Maybe it should be a grassroots program. A non-profit. Social change of helping others will still be happening, but is is a volunteer program for the workers and the recipients.
      And George, we all have friends, that bring a casserole or help out here or there. Can we ask friends to give a shot to our diabetic kid every day while we travel for work, to drive our parents to daily doctors appointments for a recent serious illness, to sit at home to watch our Alzeimer stricken parent while we drive a child to a school competition or soccer practice, to give a break to parents of an autistic child so that they can have alone time together to work on their marriage? You might say that that is what mothers, wives, sisters, aunts and grandmas are for. Right? Well, these women are now all in the work place and contributing as they have the right to do. More women are applying to colleges than men. A woman with the same grades and academic success as a man, will not be chosen for the college spot. It is harder to get into college for a woman because the women are more developmentally advanced at that age and it is competitive. And so, these women graduate and can't even use all they learned because they fall right into the caregiving role. We have made no advances what so ever in our society in helping this problem. That is because our society does not respect or pay for this caregiving job.
  • Feb 13 2013: Barb you do make a valid point here as there are some outside limitations that could possibly factor into the success of what Colin Powell addresses. The growing epidemic of children having no particular role model to mold themselves after has been a growing problem over the last twenty some odd years. You are right that may of us tend to forget that not every family is a perfect portrait as disabled, mentally ill, and sick children possess a bit more responsibility than others. One idea that did come to mind was the incorporation of a program that focuses on mentoring children who are missing their gender specific parent. For instance, many young boys today are lacking a father figure in their life to teach them discipline and respect of woman. Many of us are missing that sternness that encompasses these elements that deprive us of a admirable father figure in our lives. We need to incorporate some sort of program to provide weekly meetings with these young children who are missing their gender specific parent. I feel this could potentially provide benefits and cut down on the growing jail rate and high school drop out rate sweeping America.
    • Feb 14 2013: Darwyn, the mentoring of fatherless boys could be a need that could be filled by such the program I refer to and as Colleen pointed out, maybe there are some existing mentoring programs. However, not to say that these programs are not needed for disadvantaged youth, they are also needed for all classes of society. All economic classes of society suffer from divorce and child abandonment. It is so hard for the single parents to do it all - they just can't and the kids can suffer. Again, have a volunteer organization that helps and gives support to the caregivers of the world, inturn helps out the children of those caregivers and in turn all of society. Kids will get structure, but better yet "loving structure" because the caregivers are not so stressed.
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    Feb 9 2013: Barb,
    You bring up some good points. There are many programs available right now to fill some of the needs you mention. Google "Mentoring Programs" in your area, and you will find many opportunities. There are also mentoring or guardian programs through the local court systems, and sometimes mentoring programs in local schools. Perhaps what we need more than starting a new organization, is more people participating in existing, established programs?
    • Feb 14 2013: That's a good idea Colleen, to look into existing mentoring programs. Thanks
  • Feb 2 2013: Their are to many people who are out for themselves and the almighty dollar. The values are askew and need to be reeled in so people can feel confident when they reach out for help. We need to overcome the false egos many live behind and be willing to reach out and get the help and support necessary when raising children alone, caring for elderly family members, and trying to maintain a safe and wholesome home so our children have the opportunities they deserve.
  • Feb 24 2013: It is not so easy there are a lot of factors to take into account bereavement peer pressure and also the persons individual problems, that they are ashamed to admit ( dyslexia.ADHD).
  • Feb 18 2013: The US government has destroyed just about everything it has touched. The idea of bringing them into the family would be a disaster.
    • Feb 18 2013: Hi Amaranda - please read through the discussion. I believe that we moved beyond the government idea to a non-profit or other volunteer organization. The idea of accessing mentoring groups that already exist is one idea. I was even thinking of making up a FB group that people could join to put in volunteer hours and then when they need them, they can access those hours back. Kind of like credit. For younger people, like college students, they could put the service on their resume. I have a friend whose husband's tumor has started growing again and will need daily driving to the radiation treatments. She can't take off work right now with anticipation of needing to take off work to take care of him in the near future. She has called out to friends to help, but really could use a lot more support. The caretakers of the world just need a lot more support and respect. Thanks for contributing.
      • Feb 24 2013: The best way to help is having a health service. Don,'t let propaganda get you .If you can keep population healthy .They are able to work Don't let the Lobbyist tell you different .The only drain are YKW
  • Feb 1 2013: Mark, yes, it's a very serious discussion. Started with the idea that kids need structure, and my idea that our society needs to help the care givers of this country in order for that structure to happen. This could be done with some type of government or grass roots/ private citizen volunteer organization. College grads have a hard time finding jobs and need LOTS of practical life experience, specifically of caring for someone besides themselves. Retirees could share their knowledge and experience. It needs to happen. It's an economic issue. The government plays a big part in economics. We need to embrace "caring economics." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USUeF4YauF8 I am opposed to a government that rules out of fear (violence) and not love. Many countries are repressive and fear based. When we enter those countries to police (protect the oil) then we can revert to repression and violence. It is not right. However!!!! Lets recognize just how awesome our country really is.To get perspective you might want to read history on communist regimes or third world countries. Prior to 911 we felt so safe. Getting through the airport used to be a breeze. Since 911, we can feel some of that fear in our own country. But we have a relatively safe and predictable country. It reminds me of the complaints my 19 year old son had just tonight that there were too many rules around our house. I said that I was not giving him so much as rules but guidelines and structure. With structure we get freedom. Freedom is not doing whatever we want whenever we want it. Freedom is the result of constant daily adherence to a routine. With life skills in hand, my son will not be a burden to society and will still be free. Our country needs to work on a "partnership" model that values nature and people that SUSTAIN our society and make it worth living in. The caregivers. The women. The children. The family. The school. The environment. I'm sure Adam Lanza's mother would agree if she could.
  • Jan 31 2013: I am having a difficult time determining if this discussion was meant to be serious or whether it was meant to be ironic. I'm going to assume serious.

    This is a disastrous idea at every level and in every way. Most of the serious problems in the society right now were created by government. The idea of inviting them into peoples homes would lay waste to the family.

    We need exactly the opposite. We need less of the wrong kind of structure and we need to government to get out of things.
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    • Jan 30 2013: Ok, thanks for the information about Colin Powell. By posting a discussion in response to his TED talk it does not mean that I am endorsing him in any such way as a politician or a person. However, the topic of his talk that "kids need more structure" was the catalyst for me to start this discussion. It is all fine and good to say that kids need more structure, but lets get down to sometimes why that can not be provided in our economy and society. And so, I am actually putting it out there to him and other past and present leaders of our country to stop all the talk and show some actions and solutions. Stop invading and policing other countries and focus on our country. Focus on the guts and strength of our own country which is our families. Costa Rica got rid of their army after WWII and put all their money into their schools, health care and elsewhere. They value the family and actually it is a matriarchal society in that that mother is the head of the house and very revered. They have a woman president. Not that the country is perfect, but it is very peaceful and the happiness level is pretty high. Think what our country could have done with all that military money if put into infrastructure in America. Instead, we have veterans committing suicide, suffering from medicine addiction and PTSD and often indefinitely needing medical treatment. I admire and value all the dedication and service that these young people provide us, but I believe they often enter service not knowing the full ramifications. And, so, don't get me started about the horrors of war. I am a pacifist. I don't want to get sidetracked. Moving on from what Colin Powell did or did not do, we need help for our caregivers. Just in the news today is an article about something wrong with our economy;
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/sandwich-generation-takes-a-hit-supporting-adult-children-and-aging-parents/2013/01/29/163e59c2-6a4b-11e2-af53-7b2b2a7510a8_story.html
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    Jan 29 2013: Barb, First I think you are a caring and concerned person. Having said that I would suggest that we analyze what is already in existance and the effectivness of each. I would, in my opinion, never involve the government as it is the single most ineffective unit I know of. The government have literally thousands of entitlement programs and assistance programs and I cannot think of one that gets any "bang for the bucks". The feds throw money at projects and walk away. The major relief organizations are no better. If you do research on agencies such as Red Cross you will see the executives eat up million in pay and perks and very little of the money goes to the cause.

    That was a real bumber of a sentence above. The reason I said all of that is to point you to evaluating each of these and find the worst and eliminate them and find the best and divert the funds from the worst to the best. We have so many of these today and yet there is still so much need.

    A part of the problem is, again .. my opinion ... that entitlement programs are so good that it exceeds the need for a family to ever go to work. If my total benefits are equal to $70,000 a year (33.65 per hour) ... why would I want to work for $35,000 a year (16.82 per hour) and have to pay for all of the things I once got for "free".

    Entitlements are the major part of the problems facing the EU and now the USA. We are creating generational welfare and killing the work ethic and in turn pride.

    So in summary .. I encourage you to look at what is available ... examine cause and effect ... work to enhance that which works and eliminate that which does not. By doing this you will ineffect be doing what you suggest.

    I wish you well. Bob.
    • Jan 30 2013: Thanks Bob, as I posted just recently, the organization does not have to be government run. It could be a totally non for profit grassroots organization. Those social service programs are sometimes abused, but also they can be used to get individuals back on their feet and more independent. If we had an organization like this that could be used by all levels of society, then maybe the dependence on those social services could decrease. It is also known that in home care is a lot less expensive than care in an institution. The cost of health care could really decrease. People heel so much better and quicker in a home situation compared to an institution.
      A wise economist has come up with the term "caring economics." It' s not about social service or government programs but a total shift in what we value in our society. Her name is Riane Eisler. http://www.partnershipway.org/about-cps/speakers/copy_of_riane-eisler. Again, I am just discussing an idea, to give more help to the care givers of the world so that everyone benefits. I have no answers, just questions and ideas.
  • Jan 29 2013: So now we're going to invite the government into our homes as well? You have got to be kidding. The government has the stinky finger. Everything they touch has turned to crap.

    This idea is socialism at its worst. Count me out.
  • Jan 29 2013: Yes. I believe that our country would be much more successful and HAPPY if we provided a lot more help and respect to the caregivers, most of which are women. A typical American woman could be taking care of her kids, her elderly parents (either at her home, visiting them in a nursing home, or taking them to doctors appointments), managing her house, holding down a job and/or attending school, and possibly attending to her siblings and their kids. Add any type of illness to the mix or developmental problem and then everybody suffers. When the main caregiver of the family (which could be a single parent household) is suffering....everybody in her/his radius suffers. This lack of help for caregivers permeates all class levels. Disability, sickness, mental illness knows no socio-economic boundaries. If we had a group of positive, and energetic volunteers to give respite temporarily for a struggling family, the whole community would benefit.
  • Jan 28 2013: Fritzie, not exactly...it probably could be an extension of americorp. The services in this program would be available to all - not just indigents. And it is more of an in home service program. Instead of sending off the elderly, sick, disabled, mentally or emotionally challenged, learning disabled members of our society to institutions, they can be cared for at home with the love and support of family. A loving home is where people heal and improve with any condition. This could be for acute and chronic conditions. It could be for a pregnant mother on bedrest...an elderly person recovering from a hip fracture, an autistic child or any child on the autism spectrum, a child with arthritis or diabetes or respite care for someone recovering from cancer. I could go on and on. What this would do would relieve the pressure on the caregivers of these family members and allow them to keep working and attending to other parts of their lives while still having their ill but ailing loved one around.
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      Jan 28 2013: I understand. You want the services these volunteers provide to be focused on homecare rather than the broader focus of an Americorps, which works in schools, in community settings, with homeless youth, and so forth.

      It was your reference to Peace Corps and then the idea of our own families that made me think of Vista, now Americorps, which with its scope of activities is much like a domestic Peace Corps.
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      Jan 29 2013: I meant to add that I know families with caregiving responsibilities could benefit from such respite. But if you were designing a program to give college graduates valuable work experience, as you described in your proposal, I don't know that this is the sort of training or work experience that is most valuable for them.
      • Jan 30 2013: Yes, we all probably know families that could benefit. I hear that there is a long waiting list for Americorp for the college graduates. In this economy, it is difficult to find a job out of college but a program like this could give valuable life lessons and look good on the resume. Many college students live in a bubble with not a whole lot of responsibility except for caring for themselves. They could learn what the real world is like by temporarily helping a family in need. They could learn from the other professionals that come to the home about psychology, nursing, cooking, landscaping, physical and occupational therapy, medicine, and make connections with the families they help. They could learn about a lot of real life issues, like cancer, at risk pregnancy, autism, learning disabilities, aspergers, mental illness, post-operative surgical conditions, dementia, parkinsons and other neurological diseases, single parenting, parenting while the spouse is deployed in the service, and what it is like to raise a chronically ill child in a busy family. What could be more important to learn? And maybe it would not just be limited to college graduates. It could be retires as well that have a lot to offer. These volunteers could get a break on their taxes? I don't know exactly. Just brought this topic up for discussion so that it can be discussed.
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    Jan 28 2013: Do you mean like Americorps? In the 60s and 70s it was called Vista, I think.

    http://www.americorps.gov/about/overview/index.asp

    There are youth versions called things like Youth Corps and City Year.