Sign first-ever state bill helping poor families buy a basic need for babies, diapers
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The Bill - AB 492
A bill passed by California lawmakers would give families with children under the age of two and receiving assistance via CalWORKS (the state's welfare program), a monthly $50 voucher to purchase diapers.
The bill requires the signature of Governor Jerry Brown by September 30, 2016, to become law.
An estimated 120,000 children, who live in poor and low-income families in California, would benefit from the assistance. Clean diapers are essential to the health and well-being of children and families. Without Governor Brown's signature, infants and toddlers will suffer.
With Governor Brown's signature, California will once again demonstrate its leadership role among U.S. states in helping to meet the basic needs of all children and families.
Please add your name to the petition and ask Governor Brown to sign the bill.
1 in 3 Moms Struggles with Diaper Need
A study conducted by researchers at Yale University and the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), and published in the journal Pediatrics found that 1 in 3 moms struggles with diaper need, the lack of an adequate supply of diapers to keep her baby clean, dry, and healthy. The study also found that diaper need adversely affects maternal mental health.
The National Diaper Bank Network is dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to the diapers they need. Diaper need is more common than many realize. A month’s worth of diapers runs about $70 to $80. For a parent who works full time at California’s minimum wage of $9 per hour, this expense alone can represent more than 5 percent of her gross income. For families currently receiving CalWORKs cash benefits, monthly diaper expenses can command 11 percent of the maximum benefit of $704 for a family of three.
The Center for Economics and Budget Policy Research found that the poorest 20 percent of families spend nearly 14 percent of their post-tax income on diapers. For low-income parents trying to stay employed or in school, diaper need is a potential crisis on any given day. Most childcare programs require the parents to provide diapers for their child. Parents experiencing diaper need may be unable to use childcare, and might have to miss work, possibly resulting in workplace discipline.
Because diapers can be a hidden barrier to childcare and employment opportunities, providing diapers through CalWORKs programs makes sense. In San Francisco, the city has been experimenting with distributing diapers to its CalWORKs recipients through local Family Resource Centers. City officials report that residents are “thrilled” with the diapers, which have “given them more flexibility in their monthly budgets.”
Please sign the petition and ask Governor Brown to sign AB 492 into law, and help struggling families and children in California. All babies deserve clean diapers.
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