Impact on Families: A Parent's Perspective

Impact on Families:
A Parent’s Perspective
Leila Rahemtulla
BC Association for Community Living
A Parent’s Perspective
• Our children are our gifts not our burdens
• “You
You don
don’tt choose your family.
family They are God
gift to you, as you are to them” -- Desmond
• A family’s care should not contribute to or
justify a shrinking social net
• A family’s inability or unwillingness to continue
support cannot be equated to not caring
Cost is a Family Affair
• What are some of costs to family?
Supports for the family member
Choices in work or career and schooling
Choices in home or living arrangements
Choices in time to care for other family
members (siblings, spouses, extended family)
• Choices in living, enjoyment and recreation
• Health and well being
• Financial condition
Honouring Dignity
• Talking about poverty is a sensitive issue
• Our definition the term “poverty”
poverty and our
judgment can impact a discussion
• We cannot strip away power with pity
• “Being
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten
by everybody, I think that is a much greater
hunger, a much greater poverty than the person
who has nothing to eat.
eat.” -- Mother Teresa
Each Family is Unique
• Each family has a story -- in order to
understand it, we must listen
• We cannot simply group families under
headings such as “living in poverty” or “living
i h iintellectual
l di
bili i ” or b
h and
to appreciate the depth of their perspectives
• To engage in a dialogue about creating a better
life, we must honour families in their choices
and respect them in their financial condition
Closing Thoughts
• “No government can love a child, and no policy
can substitute for a family’s care. But at the
same time, government can either support or
undermine families as they cope with moral,
social and economic stresses of caring for
Hillary Clinton
• This must be a dialogue and when our
differences are broken down enough for us to
see we’re all connected, we can contribute to
the transformation of our society.