State officials are hard at work making life easier for newly single parents on welfare.
Assembly Bill 1728introduced by Assemblymen Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) and Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), would automatically make single parents receiving CalWORKs benefits exempt from having to meet the program’s requirements. welfare at work” during the first three years of their childhood.
Rivas says that effort comes in part from her own childhood experience.
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“As the son of a single mother myself, I strongly believe that we should create policies that promote better child care, not take parents away from their children during their most formative years,” he said. -he declares. “My mother worked three jobs and went to night school to ensure a better future for my brother and I. Luckily we lived with our grandparents who provided us with the support we needed while our mother was absent – many single mothers do not have the support they need.”
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Under current law, single parents have a six to 12 week exemption after giving birth, fostering or adopting a child, which must be formally requested. However, single parents can still choose to participate and fulfill the conditions of the social assistance program at work.
Workplace welfare programs are used to help people with their job search or study for professional licensing exams, but can often be time-consuming for parents, officials say.
“As numerous studies have demonstrated, early childhood is a crucial time for brain development,” Rubio said. “This bill comes in recognition of the important role we know early bonding time can have on a child’s long-term health. I look forward to partnering with my colleague to ensure that we give families the opportunity to choose what is best for their own situation and the needs of their family.
One of the biggest concerns, Rubio said, is the potential impact on children’s health and education due to time spent away from their parents during infancy.
“A single parent deserves the same rights as anyone else to care for and spend time with their new child,” Rivas added.