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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.