Initiative Mission Statement:
In the United States there are a number of cultural assumptions that form the basis of traditional family life that are typically unspoken. Largely because of the acceptance of these assumptions, systems have been set up and maintained that are counter to the reality for many people. It is assumed that people who do not fit these norms, are at fault and that they should change to fit the assumptions.
These assumptions include:
- Children are raised by families with 2 adults
- One or more of these adults has time available to take children to the doctor, dentist, teacher meetings and to help at the public schools during traditional business hours.
- If a family does not have time to contribute, it is assumed that they have money to compensate.
In reality, a large percentage of families do not have this luxury, flexibility or live in this manner. The pressures of these assumptions contribute to un-employability of independent single parents, and to a dependency on welfare (or other people) in order to meet the (healthcare and educational) needs of themselves and their dependent children.
Independent: without help, financially or via an informal village (ie childcare swaps). For example, an independent person holds a job with sufficient income to pay all household expenses (rent, car, food, healthcare, insurance, fitness, enrichment, educational expenses, childcare, etc.), and with a schedule of hours and effort to allow for a healthy lifestyle and sufficient time and flexibility to accomplish necessary parenting and household tasks.
The mission of this initiative is to identify and work to change systemic and structural elements contributing to the impossibility of true independence for single parents. These elements include, but are not limited to: affordable daycare, irregular public school calendars, required mid-day parent teacher meetings, after-school care, medical appointment scheduling, the education of girls (and elements to support those same girls as they become working women and single mothers).
The US democratic system is based on a "survival of the fittest" philosophy, which is counter to this initiative. These principles have a tendency to become socialistic in order to provide the support required. Without it, the direct relationship between single mothers and poverty is reinforced, as is the need and tendency for women to rely on each other through informal social-emotional networks.
What do you think?