Academic journal article Policy & Practice of Public Human Services

Inside Story

Academic journal article Policy & Practice of Public Human Services

Inside Story

Article excerpt

Two years ago, I wrote about a massive change taking place within public human services--welfare reform legislation, which radically transformed the nation's welfare system. With the enactment of federal welfare reform, caseloads have fallen dramatically and record numbers of former welfare recipients are working.

Two years later, I am compelled to write about another massive change--this time it's a change in my lifestyle. My husband and I adopted a baby boy! Since joining the staff at APHSA, I have learned much about the tolls and virtues of adoption and am proud to join the ranks of parents who have adopted children, from both private and public adoption agencies.

Having a family and being a parent is wonderful. There is a strong feeling of fulfillment and a new set of priorities that now make sense of our lives. Although we've had our son for only two months, we marvel at the changes in our son since coming home and how he amazes us everyday.

Both my husband and I realize that life as adoptive parents will have its ups and downs. We know that we'll have to answer our son's questions later on in life, work through the confusion of what issues really need to be addressed and what issues are due to our adoption sensitivities, deal with the questions of well-meaning strangers and friends, as well as find the necessary patience while battling fatigue. Yet, no matter how a child enters a family, each must be loved and valued for who he or she is. Being a parent is a change to which my husband and I are looking forward.

Change is also a recurring theme in three of the articles in this issue. In our cover feature, "A Conversation with Thomas Perez," we look at the changes occurring within the public human services as they relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L. C. and E. W. The decision has major implications for public human service professionals. Perez, of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., shares with us how the decision affects public human service professionals' work to expand and promote home- and community-based services. …

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