I had the opportunity to attend the Shelby County Legislative Preview Luncheon hosted by the Greater Shelby County Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Work Group, Montevallo and South Shelby Chambers on January 4, 2017. This was a great opportunity to hear first-hand from the Shelby County legislative delegation as each member shared their concerns and issues they plan to address during the 2017 legislative session.
Three of the many concerns the legislators mentioned included:
- prison system/overcrowding and possible federal government intervention
- increased drug use/abuse
- balancing the budget problem
As I sat and listen to the aforementioned, I was reminded that one of the greatest economic stimuli for our state is to protect and safeguard the parent/child relationship. Each year, approximately 40,000 children in Alabama are court-ordered to see and spend time with one of their parents 4 – 6 days per month. These court orders are crippling our children and our communities, placing a financial burden on taxpayers, and are not supported by any social science research. A child of divorce or separated parents spends a lifetime trying to overcome the loss and deficit of the absent parent.
According to Alabama DHR and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the statistics provided below are a result of children with limited or no contact with one of their biological parents.
- 63% of youth suicides
- 75% of juvenile drug abuse
- 85% of youths in prison
- 71% of school dropouts
- 71% of teen pregnancies
- 90% of homeless and runaway children
Our children are being negatively impacted by the increased custody cases that restrict children to having one parent. The restructure of the custody law practices to reflect the 40 studies and 112 social scientist, stating shared parenting should be the norm for state policies, is a savings to our children and an economic savings for our legislature. This change will both promote family and enhances our economic growth.
Each member of the Shelby County legislative delegation was provided an Legislature Informational Packet which will empower them to make an informed decision supporting the “scientific research documented in 40 studies combined with the consensus of 112 social scientists prove that children desire associating and bonding with both their mothers and their fathers, and children excel and prosper when both parents are equal contributors to their upbringing and well-being, even when the parents live in two separate homes”.
“Working together, we can accomplish more!”
By: Kenneth Paschal, Pelham – Alabama, Alabama Family Rights Association State President, a child activist, a fit parent, and an advocate for protecting parents’ fundamental rights.
All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2017.