Assistance to Families in Need

Adopted February 1998 – Reviewed and deemed relevant March 2012 – Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA believes that children are our most important natural resource, that the family is the basic unit of society responsible for the support and nurturing of children, and that every effort must be made to ensure that public policies concur with the best interest of children and families. California State PTA further believes that society has a responsibility to establish policy that ensures effective community services and assistance programs when necessary for families in need. These programs should be structured and delivered in ways that contribute to the integrity and stability of families and to ensure that children will have adequate support to meet their basic needs.

California State PTA supports government assistance programs intended to help families survive a temporary crisis and protect children from the extreme effects of poverty. California State PTA believes that government has the responsibility to plan and coordinate these programs for families in need, establishing a clear definition of responsibility at each level of government and adhering to governmental fiscal responsibility, but keeping foremost the priorities of children and youth.

California State PTA believes that to be effective in assisting families to become and remain self-sufficient, programs to help families in need of government assistance must include at least the following:

  • Job training, job placement and job creation
    • Train and place recipients in job-related programs so they may become self-sufficient;
    • Promote opportunities for teenage parents to complete basic education programs;
    • Provide access to community and adult education, technical schools and job training programs that meet the needs of the highly-skilled technological workplace;
    • Coordinate community employment resources for job development;
    • Require accountability by families in relation to work, training and education;
  • Coordination of health and welfare programs and needed support services
    • Affordable, quality child care that provides flexible hours and guarantees payment to licensed providers until parents transition from assistance to work;
    • Reliable public or private transportation for access to services and employment;
    • A health care system that provides equal access to quality, affordable, basic preventative health care and adequate support services within the field of mental health and guidance;
    • Enforced collection and distribution of legally awarded child support payments;
    • Provision for safe and affordable housing;
    • Adequate nutritional services to prevent health and learning problems associated with malnutrition and hunger;
    • A free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and funding for non-educational requirements of all individuals with special needs;
  • Eligibility requirements
    • Reasonable and flexible time limits that enable families to become self-supporting;
    • Statewide policies that encourage families to stay together when in the best interest of their children and that remove obstacles which eliminate two parent families from eligibility;
    • A system that provides a basic level of existence and does not penalize working families.

California State PTA believes that programs to assist families in need should include a safety net for individuals who do not meet established criteria for assistance to ensure that all children who reside in California have a right of access to a quality education, adequate food and shelter, and basic health services.

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