The New York Times has a great article in the Magazine today by Paul Tough, the author of “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why.” In it he talks about “Home Visiting,” one of the key strategies my agency and many others (including the United Way of King County) are employing to help get kids who start life pretty far from opportunity get on a better trajectory. These are pretty intensive programs that have to be done in very careful ways to work, but that are totally worth doing.
This job has got me focused on the pernicious effects of poverty much more than I thought it would. There are for sure painful management issues to deal with, there are the details of ensuring that kids are safe in thousands of child care facilities across the state and the need to focus on managing details of a budget that is almost 3/4 of a billion dollars a year, but the opportunity to make a difference in the trajectory of the life of a kid who would otherwise have been in deep trouble is pretty compelling.
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