Dagny McKinley: Any help for mothers?

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The story of Megan McKeon has been haunting me. I feel sick when I think about that child left alone, scared, hurt.

Thinking about this tragedy made me wonder about what help was available to Megan or mothers like her. I’m not a mother, so I’m not aware of what is available for mothers, but I think it might be helpful to post some information about the following:

Is there affordable or free daycare for mothers who have to work (and can only get minimum or low-wage jobs to pay bills) but can’t afford to pay someone to look after their children?

Is there a hotline or somewhere mothers can call when they feel overwhelmed or scared or have questions about child care?

Is there a place mothers can call for emotional support raising their children?

If a mother can’t take care of her child, is there somewhere she can take the child if she needs to give up the child? (Most mothers won’t go to the police station, so maybe Advocates Building Peaceful Communities or the hospital or a church?)

Does Advocates or any other organization offer services or care for mothers to help prevent instances of abuse?

I think this information would be good for everyone in Steamboat to have, parent or not, as we all know people with children.

Sincerely,

Dagny McKinley

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Scott Wedel 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Dagny,

Having seen some other rough situations, I think the parents know their situation is not acceptable and know asking for help is going to result in more questions. And it is not right for others to not say anything because afterwards a child is being returned to an unacceptable situation.

I think what is needed is a way for troubled parents to put their kid in foster care in which the parent gets credit for recognizing the situation and getting proper care for their kid. And thus it is fairly easy to regain custody when their situation improves.

I think there is a general perception that if a parent puts a kid in foster care that it becomes very hard to regain custody. That they won't merely need to get their living situation back to an acceptable lawyer, but will face any number of additional challenges and will probably need to afford a lawyer to regain custody.

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Trudi Jespersen 4 months, 4 weeks ago

You have a really good idea here but getting the parents to do it is something else

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Melinda Clark 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Dagny, I understand your heartbreak and share it. As the director of Selah, a local organization that provides answers and resources for parents, I am so glad to tell you about what our agency provides for our community. We support individuals from the moment they wonder if the might be pregnant, with medical services to diagnose the pregnancy, along with options counseling to help them make pregnancy plans.

But our commitment to our clients exceeds that moment of crisis and uncertainty. We realize that parenting is a long-term commitment and can be a difficult challenge in a complicated world. We also offer mentoring in our MomCoaching and DadCoaching programs, educational programs that provide education and resources for parents to develop prudent parenting skills. Along with classes, clients can receive material resources to offset financial pressures and pursue financial stability.

We offer comprehensive referrals to other agencies in our community. Our desire is to invest in our clients' long-term, holistic health, and we do our best to be sure that they know and can avail themselves of every resource that may benefit them and their children. We also provide pre- and post-adoption support for birth parents who feel they may not be able to commit to long-term parenting and want to make an adoption plan for their child's best future.

I am thankful that we offer all these services in our community at no cost to our clients. We want to help them succeed, and I'm glad for you to know about us so that you can share these services with others who need a safe place to get straight answers. That's who we are: www.selahsteamboat.com

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john bailey 4 months, 4 weeks ago

what ever happened to our 2 parent families ? this story is truly disturbing and it saddens me that our young are in this situation. Melinda , thanks for posting your info....~;0)

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mark hartless 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Such a place used to exist. It was called Church.

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Trudi Jespersen 4 months, 4 weeks ago

She knew she had help available to her - chose not to take it. Unbelievable, tragic, why? WHY??? Why in the WORLD would ANYONE leave a 3 year - old ALONE for more than just a few seconds - ???? needless to say more that 20 HOURS for at LEAST 20 times!!!!

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beverly lemons 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Dagny, you are writing the same questions I, and many others have. So far, only the anti-abortion group (Selah) is offering support for troubled parents, and I doubt they are really able to do much. Social services does not seem up to the task, either. This tragic and horrible death of a small child via extreme neglect highlights a severe gap in our community when it comes to the needs of children and parents who are not able to care for their children for whatever reason. I would like to see day-care for any child made available to all the families in our community, as well as a whole slew of parenting classes and support services for folks who are ill-equipped and overwhelmed and want to do better. Will different groups and entities do something proactive about this? Making child care available to everyone will bring cases like this to the attention of the authorities before it results in death, again. It would also allow parents the opportunity to get a grip on what they are doing, if they are in trouble.

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Kevin Nerney 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Maybe the thought process should take place before they hop in the sack. Remember the 6 p's---Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Way to many kids are an after thought today when kids are having kids and they don't realize that the baby they are bringing into the world will need to be taken care off for the next 20 yrs.

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