“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them” (Hugo). According to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, four out of about twelve million single parent families with children under the age of 18, more than 80% were headed by single mothers (Single Mother Statistics). Sarah Beth is a mother who is struggling to make ends meet after filing a restraining order on the father of her four young children. Sarah has made appointments to receive assistance through programs that are available to her and family, but child care arrangements have fallen through. Sarah needs to get her three-year-old and her one year and nine-month-old child into child care. By doing this, Sarah will be able to attend the meetings she needs to help her family. Sarah should enroll her children in a head start program, where together they will work with her and her children to ensure that all needs are met.
Strengths of the Family
Sarah Beth is a strong individual for leaving her husband. Not many people have the strength to leave their significant other due to children. Although the story does not state what happened to her it does say she filed a restraining order against him. “A restraining order is an order issued by a court to protect a person or persons from physical and emotional harm due to threat, abuse, harassment or stalking by another person or persons. Anyone who obtains a restraining order enjoys the protection of the law” (Top 5 Reasons to File a Restraining Order). Retraining orders are usually filed when they are a victim of domestic violence, crime, stalking, verbal threats, or when children are involved (Top 5 Reasons to File a Restraining Order). Sarah has two children currently attending school. However, her two younger children should attend school. Sarah has been seeking advice and help from her church as she has no other support from family or friends.
Value Differences
Working with this family will have some challenges. The first challenge would be making sure that the restraining order set not only protects Sarah Beth but her children as well. There would need to be a legal binding agreement between the school the children and attend stating whether the father is able to pick up the children or attend the school. Secondly, I would ensure that Sarah Beth learns about all programs based on her eligibility that she is able to receive. The case mentions fuel assistance, Women, Infants, and Children, and food stamps that Sarah was going to pursue but missed appointments. I would also suggest Sarah enrolling her younger children (3, 1.9, and newborn) into head start/ early head start services. Sarah is right now due to the restraining order a single mother with younger children who seems to be struggling with them and to make ends meet. I would work with Sarah to provide educational classes regarding parenting as well as courses related to her passion of being in the medical field. Lastly, Sarah is also caring for her mom who is very sick. This could also be the cause as to why Sarah is missing the appointments that are needed to help her family. I would make sure to either have Sarah’s mother go into a home that specializes in her condition or have an in-home nurse. These would be issues that would be discussed with Sarah and include if possible, her mother. It is important to make sure that all parties understand what is going on and what can be done to ensure all needs are being met.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
In 1972, Women, Infants, and Children started out as a pilot program and was made permanent in 1974. WIC is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. WIC’s name was changed under the Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994, in order to emphasize its role as a nutrition program. WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children who are found to be at nutritional risk. WIC provides services to mothers and children up to the age of five (About WIC). Sarah and her family will qualify as she is struggling to make ends meat for her family. If for whatever reason she is unable to qualify then there will be steps made to ensure that her and her children are getting proper nutritional care.
Fuel Assistance
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. LIHEAP can help families stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer through programs that reduce the risk of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices (About LIHEAP). This program will be available to Sarah and her family if they qualify.
Food Stamps
SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In order to receive this program applicants must apply in the state that they live in and meet certain requirements.
Head Start/ Early Head Start Programs
Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers and schools. Other programs are in child care centers and family child care homes. Some programs offer home-based services that assigned dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent as the child’s primary teacher. Today 3- and 4-year-olds make up over 80 percent of the children served by Head Start programs each year. Early Head Start was created to serve pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another pre-K program (Head Start Programs). In the case of Sarah her three-year-old child would go to the Head Start program for preschool and her two younger children would go to early head start. Head Start programs provide full and part day care. Depending on what kind of schedule Sarah would like her children to attend she can decide on whether sending her children to full or part day. Vouchers can be given, and children can sometimes attend only certain days of the week. Sarah can make a choice on this and can use programs head start offers for parents to attend school and programs related to whatever kind of help she needs. I would recommend Sarah attending adult education programs as well as some parenting classes.
In conclusion, Sarah is a very strong women for making the choice to file a restraining order on her husband. It is not an easy choice to make but it is for the safety of her and her children. Sarah can get the help and assistance that she needs for her family through head start. Sarah will work together and make sure her needs as well as her children’s needs are met.


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