Tough, dangerous, and impoverished neighborhoods are hit with a double-whammy when it comes to raising kids: parents who are away from home a lot trying to make ends meet, and as a result, kids that are left to their own devices learning tough and dangerous behaviors to match. New York City has a program aimed at ending that cycle.
It's called Opportunity NYC and it pays cash to 2,500 families from the city's poorest neighborhoods, to do the things that are expected of parents: taking their kids to the doctor, or going to parent-teacher meetings. In areas where liquor stores out number banks and crime is high, the experimental plan is paid for by private funds with support from the mayor's office, aims to create well-parented kids to become future citizens of the world.
One recipient of benefits from the plan is a 37-year-old mom with 12 children. She lives in a large housing tower where she enters through the back door because she is too scared to go in the front. In the past four years, she's seen 10 shootings by her house. The plan's benefits appealed to her greatly. In the past two months, she has received almost $1000 for accomplishments like making sure her children do not miss school, and have dental check-ups.
Is this exactly the kind of service that will attack problems like crime at the root by giving kids the proper parental support to grow up to resist the cycle, or is it ridiculous to pay parents to parent their kids?