From the February 1999 Idaho Observer:
Kempthorne endorses "Parents as Teachers" program
Governor endorses yet another bureaucratic invasion of citizen privacy
by The OBE Predictor
In true Hegelian fashion (create the problem then offer the solution) The National Commission to Prevent Child Abuse (NCPCA) is using grossly exaggerated statistics to present child abuse as the crisis for which the organization has a cure: Parents As Teachers (PAT).
PAT (also known as Healthy Start and Healthy Families) is active in forty states and will be coming soon to Idaho thanks to Governor Kempthorne.
PAT claims to curb child abuse by utilizing a home visitation program staffed by trained volunteers who assess family needs, teach state-approved parenting skills, monitor child development from birth to age five and evaluate family for child abuse potential (any volunteer who suspects that a child may be in imminent danger must report the perceived danger to authorities).
In that NCPCA and its ilk view spanking as the root cause of violence in all children, Idahoans should wonder if corporal punishment will be a felony offense. How will child abuse and imminent harm be defined and who will be defining these terms? How long will PAT be voluntary?
Are child-rearing practices still the fundamental prerogative of the family, Governor Kempthorne?
All information gathered by PAT will be put in the database and shared with appropriate agencies. Will patient records be reviewed without informed consent? Who owns the data? Who controls access to the data? Data drives policy and leverages funding. Citizens must contact their legislators and demand OPT IN (where the state must have parental consent to access data) and oppose OPT OUT (where the state presumes consent). The bureaucracy will fight OPT IN with fury because it would render the database worthless.
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