Thursday, April 30, 2020

NCCPR in Youth Today: Is California’s ACEs Questionnaire a ‘Trap’ For Poor Families?

I’ve written about a study that found that poor mothers often avoid revealing their problems or accepting much-needed help because those asking about the problems and offering the help are mandated reporters — they are required by law to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect.

In that study, one mother from Rhode Island reads aloud from a questionnaire she receives every two months from her child’s school. She is asked to respond to a series of statements, such as: “I feel little interest or pleasure in doing things.” “I feel too stressed to enjoy my child.” “I get more frustrated than I want with my child’s behavior.”
“It’s like a trap,” the mother said. “If you say yeah, I get more frustrated with my child’s behavior, that means you’re gonna hit ‘em or something, they probably think …”

That trap may soon be sprung on millions of poor families in California.