Feds Seek Home Visits, Calling Parents “Equal Partners”
Big Brother wants to be an “equal partner” with American parents in the raising of their own children, starting before they are even born. He wants to send his agents to your house for “home visits,” too. Believe it or not, two powerful arms of Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), explicitly say so themselves.
In a draft policy statement on “family engagement,” the two unconstitutional bureaucracies openly state their joint position: families are “equal partners” in everything from children’s “development” and “education” to their “wellness across all settings.” Virtually no area of family life, including the health and “mental health” of parents, as well as a family’s “attitudes” and even its “housing,” would be free from government intrusion under the government’s Orwellian vision. Even vague notions of “family wellness,” as defined by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., would be put under a government microscope. “Parenting interventions” will be used to ensure compliance.
“It is the position of the Departments [of HHS and Education] that all early childhood programs and schools recognize families as equal partners in improving children’s development, learning and wellness across all settings, and over the course of their children’s developmental and educational experiences,” reads the draft policy. And it gets even more bizarre: As defined in the document, family means “all the people who play a role in a child’s life and interact with a child’s early childhood program or school.”
To advance the “goal” of turning families into “equal partners,” the joint policy statement by the two federal bureaucracies provides “recommendations” to, and highlights resources for, state and local governments. The document argues that Big Brother needs to know about essentially everything, for the supposed benefit of the child it wants to “partner” in caring for. Citing “research,” the policy statement claims that “the institutions where children learn cannot ignore family wellness if they want to … fulfill their mission to prepare children for school and academic success.” In other words, every aspect of family life is now fair game under the pretext of checking “family wellness.”
While government usurpation of parental rights and responsibilities is hardly a new phenomenon, the Obama administration has pushed the agenda hard. Citing Obama’s so-called “My Brother’s Keeper” scheme, the document also touts ensuring that “children are learning across settings and that all adults who teach and care for them are strong partners with shared expectations and aligned strategies.” Thinking that Big Brother is going to align its “strategies” and “expectations” to those of parents — rather than the other way around — is naïve at best.
The “principles” underlying the agenda are spelled out explicitly, including “equal partnerships between families and professionals.” In fact, the paper calls for promoting “shared responsibility” between government “professionals” and families “for children’s healthy development, learning and wellness.” The paper also calls for “jointly” developing and monitoring goals for the children at home and the classroom, with government employees told to “engage parents as capable, competent partners.”
Big Psychiatry will also play a major role. “Ensure constant monitoring and communication regarding children’s social-emotional and behavioral health,” the document demands. “Ensure that children’s social-emotional and behavioral needs are met and that families and staff are connected with relevant community partners, such as early childhood mental health consultants and children’s medical homes.” In the policy statement’s “recommendations” for states — much of which will be imposed through federal bribes — state governments are told to “expand early childhood mental health consultation efforts.”
There are lots of “recommendations” — nudge nudge, wink wink — for local governments, too. If parent “partners” are not partnering in a way approved of by Big Brother, for example, local officials should “identify supports that will be offered to parents such as evidence-based parenting interventions.” By interventions, they mean exactly what you think they mean. Local arms of Big Brother should also seek out “community partners” that can “provide comprehensive services, such as health, mental health, or housing assistance to meet families’ basic needs,” the document explains.