Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Family Support Subsidy

$12,060,500[119]

All from GF/GP

Program Description:

The Family Support Subsidy Program grants the family of a developmentally disabled or autistic child $222 a month if that child lives at the family's home and the family's income is $60,000 or less.

Recommended Action:

There once was a time in Michigan when we expected parents to love and care for their children despite their children's abilities or disabilities. Today, apparently, state government must pay parents to do this. This embarrassing program is further proof of the dominance of political society, and how it wages war against the most basic of human virtues found in civil society. Parents must learn to appreciate the dignity and worth of all human beings, not just the flawless. It should not be the role of state government to pay parents to care. This program should be eliminated immediately.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Pilot Projects in Prevention

$1,513,800[120]

All from GF/GP

for Adults and Children

Program Description:

This program funds experimental projects that attempt to foster mental and psychological health in economically stressed communities. Examples of past projects include: visits by psychiatrists and mental health experts to the homes of economically disadvantaged infants, in an attempt to facilitate the attachment and bonding process between parents and their children; visits by psychiatrists and mental health experts to the homes of children whose parents or siblings have recently been incarcerated, in an attempt to minimize the trauma of such events; and dropout prevention programs in schools located in economically stressed areas.

Recommended Action:

This program duplicates the efforts of a vast number of private institutions, including private social service providers, universities, churches and synagogues, and a host of others. This work is best handled at the community level. The Michigan Department of Mental Health should encourage more private, community support, not take resources from individuals and communities to fund Department programs.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Foster Grandparent and

$1,872,400[121]

All from GF/GP

Senior Companion Program

Program Description:

The Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program pays senior citizens $4 an hour--up to ten hours a week--to act as companions to developmentally disabled individuals.

Recommended Action:

As was stated in our discussion of the Senior Volunteer Services Program in the MDMB budget, the state should not be subsidizing activities such as this--activities that were once thought of as simply being entirely voluntary in nature. It is a perverse manifestation of political society that we think we must pay people do what friends and neighbors have done for millennia: help each other. This program should be eliminated immediately.