02/06/06 — OPINION - Intriguing news

View Archive

OPINION - Intriguing news

By Gene Price
Published in News on February 6, 2006 1:48 PM

Some recent news items raise intriguing questions.

Veteran N.C. House Speaker Jim Black has been rawhided repeatedly by some of the state's newspapers. He's also involved in investigations of campaign contributions with implied suggestions that he might have been unduly influenced by some of them.

But he hasn't been charged with anything. And the folks back home in Mecklenburg County embrace him unflinchingly. Indeed, contributions to his re-election campaign have more than doubled since he came under fire.


According to an analysis of one provision of the federal Budget Reconciliation Act, some counties could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in social services reimbursements. These would be payments counties have been receiving for administrative costs of placing foster children with family members.

The measure would provide reimbursements only for administrative costs involved in placing children in licensed foster homes or licensed foster families.

There is some suggestion that loss of the federal money for the counties somehow will discourage families from taking in homeless children who are relatives.

Back when I was coming up -- and some will suggest that was in antiquity -- it was customary for folks to simply absorb into their families children of relatives who had died, disappeared or were otherwise no longer able to care for them.

And this wasn't necessarily limited to relatives. It might include any child in need of care.

My parents did it. My wife and I have done it. And many, many folks of our acquaintance have done the same.

It never cost the government -- local, state or federal -- anything in "administrative services" or whatever. And we never were conscious of any increase in our family budgets.

Money was never any consideration at all.

Taking in little children in need of a home and family and love is motivated by something far deeper, far more richly rewarding and much longer lasting than money.