One major difference from the United States that I saw in this area of their work was that there is no financial limit to who can receive service. Assistance is given based on the needs of the family. This more personal approach was interesting to me because the needs of a family are not always parallel to their financial situation, so in this way more people can be given resources for what they really need.
Another major aspect of the programs within DIF is the shelters available, especially for children.DIF has a temporary shelter for children ages 0-11 years at their location right outside of Cuernavaca that we were able to visit. For us social work students, it was very difficult at times to see so many children, some even with major disabilities, without a home or a family. But after learning about how the organization works, I could see that the children were treated well and all of their immediate needs were met.
Photo taken from the National DIF website: http://dif.sip.gob.mx/
When we visited the room which housed about ten infants, some of whom had disabilities or disfigurements, the workers there explained to us that each child needs to receive the same amount of attention and care, no matter what they look like. I found this comforting as these children could easily be neglected without this equality.
Since there are not many orphanages such as these in the United States, this organization raised many questions in my mind regarding child welfare. In the U.S., children removed or abandoned from their homes are placed into foster care rather than group homes, but if this was the case in Mexico, there may not be enough families to be able to take in the children.
Would it be better to erase group homes in Mexico and attempt to move towards a foster care/adoption focused system, or would this cause more problems for these children?